Year of Produce: November

Getting November’s produce log done proved to be a bit of a struggle. And I can’t blame it on having to draw romanesco, the amazing whorled cousin of cauliflower (My rendition at left is proof that an accurate drawing was not the hold up.). A vendor at the farmers market was selling darling palm-sized ones and I couldn’t resist. Then I got home and remembered I had to draw it. Romanesco has a mild taste partway between broccoli and cauliflower.

My brother was the source of two tips this month. He said he once jazzed up a Christmas party crudité platter using romanesco. If you pull one apart, you’ll know why it was the perfect vegetable to use. Each spiraled cone-shaped floret looks like a miniature Christmas tree! Throw something red in there and you’ve got a festive display.

His other tip was pomegranite pancakes. This produce log is meant to promote seasonal, local foods, but come winter I have a hard time staying away from the impressive variety of citrus we get in Oregon, and the pomegranites.

See more recipes links and what was cooking in November below. Download a high-res PDF of November Produce Log.


Speaking of cranberries, I ended up with four bags. because after I bought Ocean Spray cranberries, I found locally grown ones for the same price. So I bought two more bags. I made this cranberry cilantro salsa for a Latin American theme potluck dinner. Great with pork or chicken or just as a zippy side relish.

I like having parsley around, but now that the garden is threadbare, I have to buy parsley. But most of us can’t get through a bunch of parsley before it starts melting. Try this salsa verde drizzled over roasted or steamed vegetables, meat or fish. It’s tangy and intense. Don’t leave out the anchovies;  they add depth, not a fishy taste.

Hearty greens are abundant this time of year. They’re sweeter and more crisp as a result of the cold weather. See Hearty Greens 8 Ways to Sunday on the Portland Farmers Market blog, which includes eight greens recipes from chefs around Portland.

Sunchokes. Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, this tuber is from a particular type of sunflower. The sunchoke, which does taste a bit like an artichoke when cooked, is in the same perennial family as the artichoke (note the same radiating leaf pattern). This savoy cabbage and sunchoke pizza sounds delicious. Savoy cabbage was the only local green I found in the grocery store after missing the farmers market this Saturday. Sunchokes are good roasted, made into a pureed soup, mashed or shaved raw onto salads.

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December’s produce log might be compromised. I’ll be in Peoria, Illinois (food desert) for a third of the month. It is America’s Heartland only if you count the surrounding ocean of GMO cornfields. News on the street is that a new gourmet grocery store just opened. I’m not taking any chances. My suitcase is going to be stuffed with parsnips.

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