London Life Markets

The Variety of Vegetables in the Winter Months

November 30, 2015

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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?

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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?

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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 variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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!

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Red Kurl Sqaush

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Kabocha Sqaush

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Autumn Crown Squash

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Table Ace Squash

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.

Here are 27 ways to make your peppers less boring.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

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.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving

I like buying my organic fruits from Chegworth Valley. Their handpicked apples and pears are amongst the best you can find.

Everything you need to know to make the ultimate Apple Pie.

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Russet Apples

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Boscop Red Apples

The variety of vegetables in the winter months // colourliving
Comic Pears and Conference Pears

To end with a pear recipe, here is the incomparable Nigel Slater doing what he does best.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Wendy McM December 1, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Thank you for this inspiring blog on winter veggies!! I tend to get in a rut about this time of the year after the bounty of summer and rush of the holidays…so will take this inspiration and make something yummy!
    I wanted to let you know that your lovely friend, Nathalie Lecroc, just finished my bag watercolor and I am beyond thrilled with it! She is amazing and I can’t wait to get my original and proudly frame it.
    I also can’t wait to see the book when she is finally able to finish this amazing feat of artistry.
    Thankss so much for introducing us and for sharing such a special resource!

    • Reply tina December 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      You are very welcome Wendy! I know what that feels like. After so much choice over the summer, the winter veg can feel a little sparse.

      I know, Nathalie is SUPER talented. I’m so glad you like your watercolour. It’s such an amazing project and I’ve been hussling her for years to finish it
      so I can help her publish it:-)

      You are most welcome. Do email me your watercolour painting. Would love to see it:-)
      Have a wonderful Christmas Wendy.

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