LOCAL FOODS IN SEASON:
DECEMBER, JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
|Fruit:||Apples, Avocados • Grapefruit • Grapes*** • Lemons • Oranges • Pears* • Persimmons* • Pomegranates*|
|Vegetables:||Beets • Bok Choy • Broccoli • Brussels Sprouts • Cabbage • Carrots • Cauliflower • Celery* • Chard • Collards • Dandelion Greens • Fennel • Garlic • Kale • Leeks • Mushrooms • Nettles • Onions* • Parsnips* • Potatoes* • Radishes • Rutabaga* • Scallions* • Shallots* • Spinach • Sunchokes* • Sweet Potatoes* • Turnips* • Winter Squash* • Yams*|
|Fish:||Cabezon • California Halibut • Dover Sole • Dungeness Crab • Market Squid • Pacific Sardine • Petrale Sole • Rock Crab** • Sablefish • Shortspine Thornyhead • Spot Prawn|
|*harvested in late fall/early winter, stored through winter
**comes in season in January
***goes out of season in January
|Sources: CAFF and area farmers and farmers’ market managers|
WHAT’S IN SEASON?
CARRIED AWAY’S KABOCHA SQUASH AND
SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH GINGER,
LEMONGRASS AND COCONUT MILK
BY AMBER TURPIN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TERRY MANIER
When the winter chill sets in and our days become shorter and shorter here on the Central Coast, some chefs reach for butter and oil to give comfort food its richness. Others are more apt to amp up their dishes with a warming kick from seasonings like chilies, garlic and ginger.
The seasonal recipe offered here by Tom McNary of Carried Away in Aptos for Kabocha Squash and Sweet Potato Soup provides both comfort and a kick—and makes the most of produce that is still available fresh during the Monterey Bay region’s coldest months. And despite its creamy consistency, it is highly nutritious and even dairy free.
“Any winter squash will do, but the kabocha has a nice flavor and nice consistency. You want a squash that breaks down well, so we use kabocha or buttercup from Mariquita Farm for this soup,” says McNary, who worked for Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse early in his career and shares Waters’ commitment to seasonal cooking and supporting local farms.
“It is also important to use good sweet potatoes, without any bruising or softness. This is a vegan soup, made with coconut milk, so it’s very warming for the winter season but also light and healthy.”
The soup isn’t difficult to make, but when you don’t have time to cook, you can pick it up for carry out or enjoy it in Carried Away’s green-certified café.
7564 Soquel Drive
MORE RECIPES: For two more seasonal recipes from McNary, Wild Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Thyme and Gruyère Cheese, and Creole Dungeness Crab Quiche with Parsley and Parmesan, visit www.ediblemonterybay.com.