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The Wonder of Organic Winter Veggies

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Russian Vegetable Salad Deluxe

(Family Features) - Believe it or not, the winter months are a great time to eat local vegetables. Tomatoes and corn may not be available from local growers right now, but late-winter vegetables are ready to take center stage at your table.

According to Terese Allen, Organic Valley Food Editor, "It's party time for vegetable lovers! And for those not so sure about veggies, it's a great time to try something new - you might be very pleasantly surprised."

Jerusalem artichokes, kale, broccoli rabe and leeks are gaining in popularity with home cooks. Allen says you can find other vegetable varieties that you might not find during other parts of the year. "Not just squash, but green-striped cushaws and pink banana squash."

She encourages people to look for old favorites, too, such as sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets. "With access to the out-of-the-ordinary at farmers' markets and grocery stores, CSA farms and home gardens, getting creative has never been more easy and fun."

Allen has taken some delicious winter veggies and created a hearty salad that is great as part of a casual dinner with friends. "Think of this salad when you want to show friends how to eat local and organic when the summer harvest is months away," she says. "It makes excellent use of off-season storage vegetables and is satisfying enough to be a main course with or without the ham."

For more recipes, visit www.organicvalley.coop.

Russian Vegetable Salad Deluxe

  • 6 medium organic beets (larger than golf balls, smaller than hard balls)
  • 4 medium organic Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large organic carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 bunch organic green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large Organic Valley eggs, hard-cooked and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Organic Prairie Hardwood Smoked Ham (optional)
  • 2 medium-size organic garlic dill pickles, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh organic parsley
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Valley Sour Cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, pulverized with mortar and pestle or in coffee grinder
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

    1. Dark rye bread, cut into small slices
    2. Organic Valley European Style Cultured Butter, softened
    3. Heat oven to 400° F. Place unpeeled beets in small roasting pan; add enough water to come 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender when pierced with fork, 60 minutes or longer. Uncover beets and let them cool down.
    4. Meanwhile, place potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket and steam in a covered saucepan over medium heat until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove cover and let them cool down.
    5. Make dressing by whisking cider vinegar, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and caraway in large bowl. Whisk in safflower oil a little at a time. Season generously with salt and pepper.
    6. When vegetables are cool, remove skin from beets and potatoes. Cut beets, potatoes, and carrots into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them to dressing in the bowl with green onions, eggs, ham, pickles, and parsley. Gently fold ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
    7. Mound salad on a colorful platter. Butter bread slices generously. Surround salad with buttered bread.

Servings 6

SOURCE: Organic Valley

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