I know I've said this a lot lately to a lot of people, but its worth saying again: I have been so surprised to find that eating seasonally is so satisfying. It's not just economical or a fun novelty, but there's just this whole new aspect of a meal being delightful and comforting.
Last year, when I was beginning to consider actually paying attention to seasonal foods, I figured I'd just skip winter and start in the springtime with lemon-y chickens and fresh berries. The thought of eating dull root vegetables and dark, leafy winter greens all the time sounded more than nasty to me. But I'm shocked to find that winter foods have been delicious and even worthy of craving them on occasion. I'm not sure if its because my "palate" has begun to change with our slowly improving diet, or if I just never knew what I was missing before.
I will confess, my husband is a little less enthusiastic about everything... but that's usually the case between the two of us. He was not as in love with this meal as I was and did not eat leftovers. I, however, finished it off completely and would at least recommend everyone give it a shot. Especially since you can pick your own ingredients and lean more towards more mild tasting veggies. It's not nearly as exciting if you stick with spinach and spuds (in my opinion) but it's a start! And it will still be delicious.
Winter Solstice Pie
Start early with your crust, because that will need to chill in the fridge for an hour or so. I split the dough into two balls and then wrapped them in plastic wrap before chilling.
2-3 Cups Diced Vegetables. Options for diced vegetables: onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potato, mushroom, sweet potato, winter squash, turnip, parsnip, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts (I used onion, garlic, mushroom, white potatoes and turnips)
4-6 Cups Chopped Greens. Options for chopped greens: spinach, kale, cabbage, mustard greens, turnip greens, broccoli rabe or chard. (I used spinach, turnip greens, and a small amount of kale)
2-3 T oil
1 or 2 handfuls of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup (or so) of broth
salt and pepper to taste
**Preheat oven to 350, allow 15-20 minutes for chilled dough to thaw before rolling out.
1. Heat oil in large skillet, toss in diced vegetables. Saute until surfaces are just beginning to brown and add crushed/minced garlic.
2. Add in greens and cook until just barely wilted and soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste while stirring.
3. Toss in handfuls of flour until ingredients are well coated, then slowly pour in broth. Alternate between adding broth and stirring so that you can get a good, non-lumpy consistency.
4. Roll out dough and press into greased or non-stick pie pan. Pour in veggie/greens mixture. Roll out second ball of dough and press into place on top. Make a few cuts to allow for steam to escape.
5. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. (*If the edges are browning too quickly, you can wrap foil around the pan to cover them for the last 15 minutes.)
6. Let sit 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven before serving.