Tag Archives: in season

in season / radishes

i’ve really meant to do more of these “in season” posts, but sadly this is the first one i’ve done since the inaugural pomegranate installment back in december. i’m going through a little online food photography class right now, though, and one of my goals is to get better at shooting fruits and vegetables, so i was inspired to restart this series.

i never really had radishes growing up; it was one of those vegetables my mom never bought because she said she’d eaten too many as a kid to put us through that. i figured that meant that radishes must be pretty bland, so i was pleasantly surprised when we picked some up at the farmer’s market for the first time last year and they were…spicy? i can’t say that radishes have become my favorite vegetable ever since, but i do buy a bunch every so often and am looking forward to the markets opening back up in a few weeks so we can get fresh, organic ones and some other varieties.

i have to admit that the standard way of eating radishes – raw, whole, in a veggie tray with dip – is not really my favorite. i like to chop them up a little smaller and use them as a condiment on any number of taco combinations, which we typically make several nights a week. and although cooking radishes isn’t very common, my friend ashly sauteed some in a little bit of butter during one of her visits, and we ate them with quinoa and swiss chard, which made for a delicious meal (you could also substitute in the radish greens for chard).

anyway, for being a super cheap, kinda dirty vegetable, i happen to think they’re actually quite pretty, and had a fun time photographing these. and it turns out that they’re pretty good for you, too – full of vitamin c and micronutrients like flouride (for your teeth!), magnesium, and phosphorus. they’re also low-calorie but have a high water content, so they’ll fill you up and provide you with some good fiber.

a few radish recipes if you’re feeling inspired to try one…

yogurt radish crostini | pita crisps with feta-radish spread | cinnamon sugar radish chips

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in season / pomegranate

i don’t have a recipe for you this week, but i wanted to introduce a new column called “in season.” this past summer and fall, i really enjoyed snapping photos of the fruits and vegetables that we found each week at the farmer’s market and occasionally sharing them in the “from the market” column. but now that all the markets here are closed for the winter, i’m missing that a little bit. what i love most about markets is going back each week and seeing what’s new and what’s not there anymore. i love the true seasonality of it all. what makes a purple heirloom tomato taste so good is you can only get it in july, and fall just wouldn’t be fall without everything butternut squash and pumpkin.

unfortunately, it’s not always like that in the supermarket, but if you look closely, you can still find a few things here and there. i’ve come to learn that what makes eating a particular fruit or vegetable so special, even if you have to buy it at the grocery store, is enjoying it exactly when it’s meant to be enjoyed, in it’s peak season.

so, “in season” has a two-fold purpose. first, to showcase different produce in the seasons they were meant to be enjoyed in, and second, to practice with food photography. photographing fruits and vegetables is great for practicing because it challenges me to really focus on the details of the produce itself, rather than fidgeting with styling or trying to find the perfect dish to serve something in.

i wanted to start this series with pomegranates because it’s one of the few things in the grocery store that you can get only during its season. you can get tomatoes, apples, greens, and citrus pretty much year-round, even though all these things have distinct seasons. but pomegranates you only see during the late fall – early winter, approximately november-january or so.

my dad was actually the first one in my family to eat a pomegranate. i remember thinking it looked like way too much work for a seemingly tiny amount of actual fruit, but then i tried it, and it was pretty much love. since then, i’ve gotten k hooked too and we buy these things every chance we get. they can be a little pricey, but if you shop around, you can usually find them for under $2/each, and if you live in omaha, we’ve seen them at aldi for around 75 cents!

pomegranates are often touted as a superfood, and they’re full of antioxidants, vitamin c, potassium, and are even a good source of fiber. we usually just buy them whole and eat the seeds (called arils) as a snack, but they’re also great over oatmeal or cereal, and go well paired with other fall foods like winter squash and whole grains like farro.
if you’re still not convinced and think they still look like a little too much work for your liking (here’s a simple way to seed one, by the way), next time you’re in the grocery store, at least buy a bottle of 100% pomegranate juice (look for the POM brand) and make yourself a pomegranate mimosa. or buy just the seeds and try out this apple pomegranate galette, which i think would be a perfect christmas dessert.

happy pomegranate-ing!

p.s. what fruit or vegetable would you like to see featured next? maybe something a little weird you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t know how to cook/eat it? let us know!

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