winter treats form the Valley


This time of year invites richer and heavier dishes into our kitchens. Unlike summer fare, winter meals are often thought of as comfort food because of the rich flavors, creamy consistencies, and denser textures in the meats, starches, and vegetables used in the recipes. Meats such as lamb and veal are the seasonal favorites because of their dense texture and rich flavors. These meats pair up nicely with richer sauces, rustic breads and potatoes, and winter root vegetables.

We take pride in using local fruits and vegetables in our recipes which always becomes a challenge in the winter months. The Yakima Valley is notorious for cold, snowy winters where very little grows in our soil. It is during the winter I enjoy exploring other regions to gather their winter root vegetables for my French dishes. Rutabagas have been used by French chefs for centuries. Its flavor is sweeter and starchier than a turnip. The heavy, sweet flavor of a rutabaga compliments the winter French dishes we serve in our dining room. Parsnip, although grown in the spring in summer, they are best harvested after the fall frost, therefore viewed as a winter vegetable. The flavor of a parsnip has universal qualities that work well in delicate dishes as well as dishes that use nutmeg and cinnamon.

Take advantage of these cold, winter evenings and experience a delicious meal that will warm you and leave you feeling satisfied.