Winter is a time for us to forget about the beauty of food. Once the holidays have died down and our New Years Resolutions are in full swing, when the farmer’s markets have retired until the spring, and everyone’s garden is virtually dead, we stop relenting over fresh herbs and the flavors of juicy melons and we let food take a backburner. We fill our bellies bright and early with packaged oatmeal, forget to eat lunch, and make the same soup each week for night time leftovers.
I’ve been revolting the winter blues for a long time. Instead I rejoice as the grounds begin to freeze because it means that my seasonal favorites are starting to fill the produce section. I line my cookie sheets with bit size pieces of kale to make salty, crunchy kale chips. I spend hours at the squash farm sorting through the locally grown varieties and then several more flipping through my cookbooks concocting a weeks worth of recipes. Our fruit bowl becomes a place where citrus can gather and glow. And I explore the world of grains, trying my hand at a new one each chance I get.
One thing that doesn’t seem to change in the winter is the amount of time I get to spend in my kitchen. If it were up to me my days would revolve around chopping and dicing, preparing and photographing, and loving and eating food. But unfortunately, like most, I live a life that demands attention in many areas. Sometimes I’m looking for something that reminds me of the beauty of food without taking up my entire afternoon. A girl has to eat after all.
This salad is simple, flavorful, and bright. And I’m sure it’ll give you reason to celebrate food again.
Winter Citrus Salad
1 bulb fennel
reserved juice from citrus fruits
juice of one lime (about two tablespoons)
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
salt and pepper to taste