Friday, February 25, 2011

Eating Locally in the Winter

Eating local foods in the winter in Ohio can be challenging... but not too hard if you plan ahead and know where to find the farmers. This week I wanted to post a recipe from a meal I prepared using mostly local ingredients. I love eating Italian Wedding Soup when I go to restaurants. I had never made it before because it seemed like it would be difficult to make... and I didn't really think I could do a good job because it seemed like a "fancy" kind of dish. But I figured, hey... it can't hurt to try.

I have been buying fresh spinach every other week when we're at the Worthington Winter Farmer's market (in the Griswold Senior Center on N. High Street) from Gretel and Steve Adams from Sunny Meadows Flower Farm. They have been growing it in their unheated greenhouse all winter long, along with the most tasty carrots you will ever try. Both these items happen to be ingredients in Wedding Soup! Here is a picture of the finished product, accompanied with some locally made sourdough bread from Lucky Cat Bakery in Pataskala, Ohio. Of course, not the best food photography seeing as how it was already dark when we were eating it, and I put it in a dark bowl so you can't really see anything. Oh well... you get the idea.

Here is the recipe, which I got from

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped escarole or 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 In medium bowl combine, meat, egg,bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil& onion powder; shape into 3/4" balls.
  • 2 In large sauce pan, heat broth to boiling; stir in spinach, orzo, carrot& meatballs.
  • 3 Return to boil;reduce heat to medium.
  • 4 Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.
  • 5 Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
  • 6 Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

  • I used turkey broth that I had made and frozen after Thanksgiving. I also used local hamburger from my parent's farm. Here is a picture of the beautiful baby carrots from Steve and Gretel:
    And here is their gorgeous Spinach. It is so flavorful and fresh!
    Stop by the Worthington Winter Market tomorrow if you want a chance to pick up some great local food. I will take my camera to take some pictures of the other offerings of this great little farmer's market and post them next week. There's always a lot of meat (beef, pork, chicken), vegetarian burgers (Luna burgers), organic local baby food, goat cheese as well as traditional cheese, apples, baked goods (gluten-free, too), fudge, eggs, handmade soap, and lots of great bread. Oh, and I almost forgot... HONEY!

    1 comment:

    1. Mmm . . .going to have to try that one. I have some spinach out in the garden that overwintered just fine!