WASHINGTON – As the weather cools down and gardens shrivel up, food lovers might start to think that their fresh produce options are limited to supermarket wares. This is not necessarily the case, say two local chefs who frequent local year-round farmers markets.
In Dupont Circle and Silver Spring, for example, a wide variety of products are still available despite the changing weather: fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and charcuterie, poultry, cheese, baked goods, pastries, oysters and crab.
“The late autumn and early winter present some challenges to any shopper because the amount of products start to decrease, however trust your farmers,” says Chef Aaron McCloud of Cedar restaurant in Penn Quarter. “They produce some of the best products that you’re going to find, so trust what they’re selling.”
Keep an eye out for butternut and winter squashes, hearty greens, brussels sprouts, sweet carrots, apples and leeks, says Ris Lacoste of RIS restaurant on L Street.
Because last year was so mild, fresh produce was readily available throughout winter and contributed to 17 menu items that consisted primarily of locally grown ingredients, she says.
“When selecting produce over the winter, I’m lucky because I know who to ask,” Lacoste says.
For the novice, here are a few simple shopping tips:
Not sure where to find delicious produce in the winter? Several farmers markets are open year-round:
Check out Lacoste’s winter recipe for squash ravioli with sherried onion sauce, walnuts and cranberries:
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)