It’s so important to nourish ourselves with good and wholesome food. As we’re approaching the 1st December, here in the northern hemisphere official winter is about to set in. As a regular farmers market shopper I’m well used to eating seasonal fare. In the summer months when all foods are plentiful, it is easier to get a good variety. Not so in the winter. I thought I’ll highlight some of the vegetables and fruit in season and link to some yummy recipes so you can have a go.
I do advocate organic food and always try and buy my vegetables with the earth left on. They keep for longer like that.
The lovely parsnip is a very underrated root vegetable. Pale yellow or ivory in colour, parsnips are very tasty and simple to prepare. Take a look at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipes for some ideas.
Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. The Beetroot comes in many varieties. Here’s the Red Beetroot and some fab recipes.
Celeriac, another underrated root vegetable, also known as root-celery, is a closely related variety of common leaf celery. It’s fantastic if you can look beyond the nobbly bits and peel it. I use the leaves for my bone broth. Why not try this Smashed Celeriac recipe.
Good old potato. A staple for many. Loved by most. There are too many varieties to list here. I do love potatoes but tend to prefer sweet potatoes these days. They are better for me. Having said that, who can say no to proper home-made potato wedges?
Red onions are most often used in salads, salsas, and other raw preparations for their color and relatively mild flavor. The lovely red color becomes washed out during cooking. I use red onions nearly daily. If you find their flavor to astringent for eating raw, try soaking them in water before serving. Try some roasted red onions with butter, honey and balsamic vinegar.
Beautiful January King Cabbage. This is a really hardy winter cabbage – not even severe frost seems to bother it. The heads of the January King cabbage are crisp and crunchy. So many ways to cook this. Fancy braised beef with January King Cabbage and Carrot Crush?
Another vegetable that many people don’t know what to do with. Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium. Readily available, I like using them nearly daily. Love this simple recipe: Leeks En Cocotte.
Mostly seen in green, these beautiful purple kohlrabi are quite divine. I’ve eaten them raw or cooked. Here are two different recipes for you. One for raw and one for cooked. Kohlrabi carpaccio, Steamed kohlrabi.
Brussels sprouts are a bit like marmite. You either hate or love them! With Christmas approaching they are very much in the lime light. Why not try these parmesan brussels sprouts?
The squash is rather versatile. You can eat it raw, sautéed, grilled, steamed, boiled, baked and fried. Easily puréed for soups, cakes, pies and quick breads, it also can be added to stews and made into dishes like ratatouille and pumpkin pie. Served alone or as an side dish, the diverse flavors of squash lend itself to any occasion.
There are so many different varieties of squash and pumpkin. How to choose one recipe? Well, let’s choose 80 sweet and savoury squash and pumpkin recipes instead!
Peppers, tomatoes and red radicchio are still in season if grown in green houses or poly tunnels. There just simply isn’t enough summer season to grow them purely outside. No farmer could make a living out of it.
For those of you who are not familiar with Radicchio, it’s a leaf chicory, sometimes known as Italian chicory. It is grown as a leaf vegetable and is bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when grilled or roasted. I used it a lot in salads but also in cooking.
I particularly like this Jamie Oliver recipe and have made it many times.
I like buying my organic fruits from Chegworth Valley. Their handpicked apples and pears are amongst the best you can find.
To end with a pear recipe, here is the incomparable Nigel Slater doing what he does best.