Some of the best restaurants in D.C. create award-winning seasonal menus that take advantage of the different varieties of fresh ingredients which are available at varying points of the year. Ever wish that you could do the same thing at home? Our real estate agents have more information on how to start cooking seasonally, and where you can find fresh, seasonal ingredients in the D.C. area.
The Benefits of Cooking Seasonally
There's a reason why so many of the best restaurants source ingredients locally and advertise the freshness of their ingredients. Fresh produce simply tastes better, and in some cases can even offer more nutrients. Cooking seasonally also allows you to vary what you eat throughout the year, providing something new to look forward to every season. On top of all the personal benefits, buying local produce is also a great way to support local farmers. In a bit, we'll cover some of the farmers' markets near D.C. homes for sale where you can shop for fresh, seasonal produce.
Popular Seasonal Ingredients for Winter
While few crops are harvested in the D.C. area during the winter, you can still find a variety of freshly imported produce from other parts of the country. As winter turns to spring, many popular green vegetables begin to be harvested locally.
These sweet, easy-to-peel fruits from the mandarin orange family are in season all winter long. They can be peeled and eaten by hand, added to a salad, or baked into a cake for a sweet, seasonal treat.
- Winter Squash
A variety of different types of squash, including acorn and butternut, come into season starting in fall, then continue to be available fresh throughout the winter. Squash can be roasted, stuffed, served in pasta, like ravioli, or pureed to make a seasonal squash soup.
Did you know that many greens have a sweeter, less bitter flavor when harvested during the cooler weather? Kale fits into that category, providing an ideal base for your salads this winter.
Whether you use it in a salad, soup, a raw snack, or even as part of a casserole, celery is typically harvested during the fall in cooler climates. It will usually still be available fresh throughout the winter.
Another traditional cool-weather crop, cauliflower is actually at its best when harvested during the winter. Serve it raw with veggie dip, mashed as a side dish, or roasted with spices as a savory snack.
Like kale, broccoli has a less sharp, more sweet flavor when harvested in cooler temperatures. Broccoli is excellent in soup, as part of a casserole, as a side dish with cheese, or served raw.
Find Fresh Ingredients at D.C. Farmers' Markets
- FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market – 1600 20th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036
A year-round farmers' market, FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market is open every Sunday from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM, with more than 60 local vendors offering a wide variety of seasonal ingredients.
- Columbia Heights Farmers Market – 1400 Park Rd. NW., Washington, D.C. 20010
Also occurring all year, the Columbia Heights Farmers Market is open every Saturday throughout the winter from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. During the rest of the year, the market opens one hour earlier at 9:00 AM.
Cooking seasonally is easier when you live near the many great farmers' markets of D.C., and our team is here to help you find your next home in the city. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Washington, D.C. area.