There are so many wonderful vegetables and fruits at hand during the summer months that when fall and winter roll around, some people begin to fret. “Oh, no!” they cry. “What ingredients will I be able to play with now?”
But last fall I enjoyed an eye-opening visit to the Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, New York, when I discovered that there are plenty of great root vegetables grown in the cold months, many of which taste best in winter because the cold works to intensify their sugar content and flavor.
Accordingly, this episode is my salute to root vegetables and winter comfort food. I make a one-size-fits-all latke and serve it with a good old-fashioned fish chowder, only this one is double-smoked.
You can certainly throw together these recipes on a weeknight, but you might want to save them for Sunday. Why? Because a lot of us, peering ahead at another week of school or work, tend to get a little blue on Sunday night – even people like me, who are constitutionally sunny. I believe that a favorite and familiar dish, made with love and care and eaten with family and friends, can turn a meal into an occasion…and fortify you for the week ahead.