Winter Recipes

Butternut Squash Gratin

by Sheri Castle of Creative Cooking with Sheri Castle

I love this gratin. It brings out the silky, naturally sweet flavor of winter squash without adding lots more sugar or other sweeteners. Instead, it is laced with fresh herbs and topped with a delicate, crunchy, nutty Gruyere crust. Simple, yet impressive, this is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. I will admit that it takes a little work to peel a butternut squash. I suggest cutting it into large pieces and then peeling those pieces with several passes of a vegetable peeler.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9x13 non-metal baking dish.

Peel and seed the squash and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and squash and sauté them until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper over the squash and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Spread the squash mixture into the prepared baking dish. Pour over the chicken broth. Cover the dish with foil and bake the mixture for 15 minutes.

(Make-ahead note: You can prepare the dish to this point up to one day ahead. Remove the foil, let the mixture cool and then cover and refrigerate. Heat the mixture in a 350º oven for 10 minutes before proceeding.)

Increase the oven temperature to 400º. Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, rosemary and thyme in a bowl. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the squash mixture. Bake the gratin uncovered until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Heart Healthy Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup yellow grits
½ cup white flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
¾ tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 tsp. baking soda
1/8 cup oil
1/3 cup nuts, finely chopped
Oil for deep frying – use any kind of vegetable oil, NOT solid shortening or lard [safflower, corn, sunflower, peanut, soybean are best for hot temperatures (vs. olive, canola)]

A mixture of vegetables finely chopped – about 1-1½ cups total. Choose anything you like but include onions.
Other options that are good – experiment with your favorites:
Red or green bell peppers (or hot peppers if you dare!)

  • Eggplant
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Zucchini or yellow squash
  • Okra
  • Cabbage


Begin heating the oil for deep frying (medium to high heat) – about 1 ½ inch depth.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix all wet ingredients in separate bowl.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Add chopped nuts and vegetables.

Add more buttermilk if needed for the consistency of cornbread (very thick
pancake batter)

Drop batter into the heated oil using a small spoon. The oil should bubble vigorously around the dough. Turn the puppies with a slotted spoon to brown them on all sides. It should take only 2-3 minutes to cook.

Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!

Kale Chips

Makes 6 servings

1 bunch kale
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
Chili flake (if desired)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the kale leaves from the stem and tear leaves into bite sized pieces. Drizzle kale with oil and sprinkle with salt (other spices) to taste.

Bake until edges brown but don’t burn, 10-15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

yields approximately 18 (2-inch) biscuits

2 medium-sized local sweet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (cut it small cubes)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat oven to 375°

Scrub sweet potatoes and place them on a pan. Cook until centers are soft (30-45 minutes), set aside.

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add nutmeg and cinnamon. Work the butter into the mix so that it is in little balls. (You can wear gloves and use your fingers to do this, or use a pastry blender.)

In a separate bowl scrape out insides of sweet potatoes and add buttermilk. Mash together until mix is well combined. Fold mix into to the flour mixture to form the dough. The dough should form a nice ball that is just slightly sticky. You can add a bit more flour if it is too sticky to handle or more buttermilk if is too dry.

Chill the dough for 20 minutes and then flatten it out with your hands onto a clean floured surface until the dough is about one inch thick. Cut horizontal and diagonal lines in the dough to create 2 inch squares. Remove scrap dough from edges and re-flatten and repeat until all of the dough is in squares.

Place biscuits on a baking sheet or pan, and cook for 10-15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle brown sugar on tops before baking, or brush with melted butter before serving. Best served warm, and you can freeze these biscuits and just re-heat them at 375° until heated thoroughly.

Sauerkraut - How To

by Margaret Krome-Lukens

Sauerkraut is easy: chop cabbage, add salt, and let it sit! It’s also delicious and healthy; it is a lacto-fermented food, and so when you eat kraut you are also eating lots of lactobacillus bacteria (the same kind you find in yogurt, but in greater quantities!). These bacteria are great for your digestion and also help your immune system fight infection. Plus, you get to eat sauerkraut! It’s a triple win!

Ingredients & Supplies:  (This recipe fills approx. two quart jars)
2 small or one large fresh cabbage, green or red
kosher or sea salt
quart-sized mason jars or other glass or ceramic
fermenting vessel
kitchen scale

1 green garlic
3 carrots
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds

Sauerkraut is a very forgiving ferment, and there are many ways to make it! Here are two:


The Classic Way:

  • Remove cabbage core and chop cabbage into thin slivers, and weigh. Put into a bowl.
  • Add the salt at a ratio of 3 Tbsp. of salt per 5 lbs. of cabbage.
  • Mix up the salt and the cabbage, and “massage” the cabbage a bit. The salt helps pull the water out of the cabbage.
  • (optional) Chop up the other veggies (I prefer thin slices or slivers) and mix in with the cabbage.
  • Pack the mixture densely into your mason jars or crock. Let sit for about an hour.
  • After about an hour there should be more liquid in your cabbage. Pack it down with your fist or a wooden spoon.
  • Weigh it down — I like to use a clean pint glass with some water in it.
  • If the brine is not covering the cabbage after 24 hours, mix up some salt water (1-2 tsp. salt to 1 cup of water) and use it to cover the rest of the cabbage. The fermentation is an anaerobic process so the cabbage needs to stay under the liquid.
  • Weigh it down and cover it with a cloth to keep out the dust and bugs.


The Easier Way:

  • Remove cabbage core and chop cabbage into thin slivers.
  • (optional) Chop up the other veggies (I prefer thin slices or slivers) and mix in with the cabbage.
  • Mix up a few cups of salt water so that it tastes like ocean water
  • Pack the cabbage and other veggies densely into your mason jars or crock
  • Pour the salt water into the jars or crock so that it covers the cabbage. The fermentation is an anaerobic process, so the cabbage needs to stay under the liquid.
  • Pack down the cabbage some more to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
  • Weigh it down — I like to use a clean pint glass with some water in it. Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep out dust and bugs. The cabbage will “settle” and let out more liquid which may make your jar overflow. Put it on a plate if you want to keep your counter dry.


Final Instructions for Both Methods:

  • Check it every few days for taste and to make sure the cabbage is staying covered. If a white filmy mold begins to grow on the top, no problem — just scrape it off. It’s not dangerous, it just doesn’t taste good.
  • When the kraut tastes the way you want it to (for me this takes about two weeks — some people leave it much longer), put it in the fridge. It will keep there for months!
  • Kraut will ferment faster in when it’s warm, slower when it’s cold. Room temperature is fine.
  • Use glass or ceramic containers, not metal, when you are making kraut; metal reacts with the brine.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Caramelized Onions with Quinoa

Recipe by Erin Jobe, Market Manager

2-3 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 Large Red Onion
4 large Carrots
1 pint Brussels Sprouts
Thyme, Parsley, Salt to taste
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and peel sweet potatoes and chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Chop onion, slice carrots, and cut Brussels sprouts in half. Mix vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, dried parsley, thyme and salt. Spread vegetables out evenly on a pan and put in oven to roast. After about 20 minutes it can help to stir vegetables so they don't stick to pan. Roast for about 35-40 minutes or until carrots are soft and onions are caramelized. While the veggies are roasting and the kitchen is getting warm and toasty, wash quinoa in a mesh strainer. Add a drizzle of olive to a pan and place on medium high. Transfer quinoa to pan and stir while it lightly toasts until water has evaporated (1-2 minutes). Transfer quinoa to pot and add water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, remove from burner and let sit for a few minutes then fluff. Serve vegetables over quinoa. To warm up even more, add some hot sauce!

Jamaican Jerk Roasted Winter Vegetables

Local health coach, Emily Geizer, is sharing a chef-created recipe from her Janurary cleanse
Register for her Mind Body Thrive Cleanse here:

Jerk Marinade:
6 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 habanero chili (more if you want it extra spicy)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 to 2 pitted dates
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Roasted Vegetables:
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 small beets, peeled and chopped
½ pound butternut squash


Make the jerk marinade. Place all the ingredients for the jerk marinade in a blender. Blend until the marinade is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Marinate the vegetables. Add the raw vegetables to a bowl or large freezer bag. Add enough marinade to well coat the vegetables. Allow this mixture to marinate for at least 8 hours before roasting. Roast the vegetables. Preheat your oven to 425°F. When the vegetables are well marinated, place in a
roasting pan. When the oven is hot, place the vegetables in the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes.

Homemade Pumpkin Purée

Be sure to use a pumpkin made for eating, such as a pie pumpkin, sugar baby, or cheese pumpkin. Most winter squashes make good "pumpkin" purée as well. Pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns are meant only for carving; they are flavorless and watery.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. If the pumpkin weighs more than 4 pounds, cut it into large wedges. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Place the pieces cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until it is easily pierced with a knife, 45 to 90 minutes depending on the size and type of pumpkin. Let cool enough to handle and then scoop the flesh from the shells.

Purée the flesh by running it through a food mill or in a food processor. The purée must have the thick, firm consistency of canned pumpkin. If it is too watery, spoon it into a sieve lined with a couple of layers of white paper towels or a large coffee filter set over a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the purée. Refrigerate overnight. Discard the collected liquid.

Ginger Cookies

By Margery Krome

My grandmother Marge used to make these every year when she hosted my mother’s Holiday pottery show at her house. I looked forward to them all year! This recipe makes about 36 cookies.


1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, room temp
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with wax paper and grease lightly.

With an electric mixer, cream ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, butter, and margarine until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating to blend well. Add the molasses.

Sift the dry ingredients 3 times, then stir into the butter mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the remaining sugar in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls, then roll the balls in the sugar to coat.

Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets and flatten slightly. Bake until
golden around the edges but soft in the middle, 12-15 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

Butternut Squash Milkshakes

Recipe by, Margaret Krome-Lukens
Carrboro Farmers’ Market Assistant Manager

1 cup roasted butternut squash (cooked, peeled, and refrigerated) It needs to be cold, and could even be partially frozen!
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk (depending on how thick you want it)
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg

To roast butternut squash: Halve the squash lengthwise, scrape out seeds, and cook in baking dish at 400 degrees until flesh is fork tender, about 25 minutes.

Let squash cool and refrigerate.

Once it is chilled, scoop equal parts butternut squash and ice cream into blender.

Fill up halfway with milk, depending on how thick you like it, and add a pinch of nutmeg and or cinnamon.

Blend, and serve chilled!

ENJOY! (Could also be done with pumpkin!)

Butternut Squash Bars

Butternut squash works just as well as pumpkin in lots of pies and desserts! Try making your own butternut squash puree for this recipe or use it in any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree!

2 cups of roasted butternut squash puree
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Allspice
1 12oz can evaporated milk
2 eggs

Butternut Squash Puree Directions:
Cut squash in half, remove seeds and roast it in oven at 400, cut side facing down. It works best in a small baking dish with a little bit of water to steam the squash as it cooks.

Let it roast for about 25 minutes, or until a fork easily goes
through it. Once squash has cooled, scoop out the fleshy insides and use
a mesh colander to drain the excess liquid.

One squash makes about 1 -2 cups of puree.

Butternut Squash Bars:
Preheat oven to 375. Pour cake mix in a large bowl. Melt the stick of butter and add it to the cake mix. Mix until the cake mix is no longer powdery.

Pat the mixture into the bottom of a well-greased baking dish, evenly covering the bottom of
the dish.

A 9” x 13” dish works well.

In a large bowl mix the butternut squash puree, eggs, spices, and milk together. I recommend using only about ¾ of the can of evaporated milk. Once these ingredients are well mixed, pour t
he mixture in the pan, covering the cake mix lining.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top has thickened and the edges are slightly browned.

These are most delicious served cold, and they go great with ice cream!

Cinnamon Cookies

By Margery Krome

My grandmother Marge used to make these every year when she hosted my mother’s Holiday pottery show at her house. They are awesome served with hot cider!

This recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies.

1 cup butter (or margarine) softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 ½ tablespoons molasses
2 ¼ cups flour
1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon

Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in egg and molasses, blending well.

Mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well.

Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet,
Form into small balls about ¾ inch diameter and arrange on a cookie sheet. Do not place too close together. Press each ball with a glass dipped in sugar. The thinner they are, the crisper they will be.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool about one minute before
attempting to remove to cooling rack.

Easy Kimchi Canning Class

Yields about 1 ½ quarts

2 ½ pounds cucumbers, sliced or Napa cabbage, cut into approximately 2 inch squares (or experiment with other vegetables!)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt or pickling salt
3 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
½ carrot grated or julienned, optional a small handful of grated or julienned radish, optional

Seasoning Paste:
¼ cup Korean Red Pepper Powder OR to taste, optional
1 ½ teaspoons of fish sauce, optional 2-3 Tablespoons sugar (I use unbleached organic), optional
1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
¾ teaspoon chopped garlic a couple of drops of toasted sesame oil or sesame seeds, optional


Toss your cut vegetables with your sea salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl and set
aside for a couple of hours, tossing once or twice during that time.
While your vegetables are macerating in salt, combine the seasoning paste
After a couple of hours, you vegetables should be soft, lower in volu
me, and should
have thrown off a good bit of liquid. Using your hand as a strainer, dr
ain off a bit of
the brine that has pooled in the bottom of the bowl.
Next, combine your seasoning paste with your salted vegetables and mix reall
y well,
massaging the vegetables as you mix. Divide your mixture between 2 impeccabl
clean quart, canning jars. Press down on the vegetables to push them under
brine and get rid of any air pockets. Weight down the vegetables so that they stay
submerged under the brine. Cover loosely with a clean towel and let sta
nd at room
temperature for 2-3 days until the mixture begins to sour. Taste. There
should be a
balance of salty, sour, and sweet flavors. If it seems too salty or sweet, le
t it ferment
another day. Too sour, add a pinch of sugar and refrigerate. Not salty enou
gh, add
another dash of salt or fish sauce.
Screw a lid on your jar and transfer to the refrigerator for another week be
eating for the best flavor.
April McGreger

s Daughter, 2012

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Recipe provided by Erin Jobe
Adapted from a recipe from Dog Hollow Farm in "From Asparagus to Zucchini"

5 cups finely chopped napa cabbage and/or bok choy
3/4cups sliced radishes
1 cup crunchy wonton sticks.
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Combine cabbage and/or bok choy in large bowl, pour in rice vinegar, sesame oil,
soy sauce and honey and mix well.

Top with slivered almonds and wontons.

Cover and refrigerate. Drain off excess liquid and mix before serving. (I think the flavor gets better if it is left refrigerated for a few hours before serving!)

Makes 8 servings.

Roasted Carrot-Apple Soup

Adapted from


8 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and roughly chopped
½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
½ tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. celery seed
Optional: ¼ tsp. ground ginger



1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Place carrot, onion, and apple into a 9x13-inch baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and toss.

3. Bake for 30-45 minutes (until all veggies are tender), stirring every 15 minutes.

4. Blend all ingredients together until completely smooth.

Soup improves after sitting in the fridge overnight.  Serving suggestion: top with a bit of sour cream.

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup by Erin Jobe

This vegan soup is a quick meal that only requires a little bit of prep! It is great for a cold night, and I love to pair it with toasted bread and a kale salad. This recipe also works well with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes if you have them handy!

4 large sweet potatoes
1 can light coconut milk
1 can regular coconut milk
1 large sweet onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3-4 tablespoons curry powder
2-3 cups vegetable broth
Splash of soy sauce (optional)
Handful of diced green onions (optional)
Lime juice (optional)



1.       Finely dice onions and garlic. If you have a food processor, you can do this in there to create a wet pulp. Using a large pot, sautee onions and garlic on medium heat in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add in a tablespoon of curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee until onions are clear but not browned. Set this aside to add later.

2.       Peel and cube sweet potatoes into large chunks. Add sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, and coconut milk to the pot, and stir together. Stir in a pinch of salt and 2 more tablespoons of curry powder. Let this simmer while stirring occasionally until the sweet potatoes are soft. This only takes around 20 minutes!

3.       Once the sweet potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to puree all ingredients together.

4.       Once blended you can tweak the consistency and flavor of the soup. Add a bit of water or vegetable broth to thin out the soup, add more curry powder if you want more flavor, or a little bit of cayenne pepper if you need more spice. Sometimes I even add a little bit of brown sugar or cinnamon. As the soup cools it will thicken a bit, and I think it also gains flavor! I like to mix in a few splashes of soy sauce and juice from ½ of a lime before serving. Top with green onions and serve with fresh bread!

Kale, Sausage & Potato Soup by Margaret Krome-Lukens

1 pound of breakfast sausage
1.5 to 2 liters of broth (vegetable, lentil, or chicken)
1 pound of potatoes
1 large onion
½ to 1 bag or bunch of curly kale
1 tsp. thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
A splash of white wine vinegar

Note:  Adding extra liquid when you cook lentils will leave you with lentil broth that you can save in your freezer, and it adds great flavor to soups! Blending the potatoes into the broth made it rich and thick.  This soup goes great with a hearty slice of buttered toast.


1.       Cook the sausage on medium heat until slightly browned, and set aside on a different plate. Pour excess grease out of the pan but don’t clean it; use the greasy pan for cooking onions.

2.       Chop the potatoes into cherry-tomato-sized chunks, and add to the broth.  Boil on medium high heat until the potatoes are tender. Blend the potatoes and the broth together until smooth (you may still have some potato skins floating around), return to pot, and keep warm on medium-low heat.

3.       Chop the onion and sauté in the sausage pan on medium to medium-high heat until they begin to brown.  A splash of white wine vinegar will help to deglaze the pan.

4.       Add the onions to the broth-potato blend.  Add the sausage (chopping first if needed), the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat to low.

5.       Wash and chop the kale into spoon-sized pieces.  Add to the soup and cook only as long as it take for the kale to turn bright green.  Remove from heat and serve.