Back in the autumn I started a new tradition of pulling together my favourite recipes from the season in one easy to read blog post. So, here I am again with my ‘top ten winter recipes’.
I forget, I think, just how many recipes I’ve created over the years. If I’ve forgotten then I’m sure you have too. Reminding myself of them all has definitely given me a hunger for cooking them again, especially as many of the seasonal ingredients are popping into my veg basket.
Much like the autumn, vegetables from the root and brassica families make up the bulk of seasonal veg this time of year, as well as the allium family. Not as plentiful as during the autumn harvest though, and you will often find that produce you’d expect to come from the UK is imported from Europe to meet our demands. What will happen with Brexit and imports, deal or no deal, who knows, but the BBC Food programme this last week covered some interesting points.
Those bright winter days, that are freezing cold, but with a piercing blue sky are my favourite thing about this time of year. If there is one thing I have trouble with in winter it’s the darkness. The cold really doesn’t bother me. I’m a fiery Aries, and generally warm all of the time (maybe as I spend so much time standing next to an oven), the grey skies and days that are dark before 5 though. I hate them.
When those bright days come I embrace them. Much in the same way I want to embrace each and every brightly coloured fruit and vegetable to be found; rainbow carrots, red cabbage, radicchio and forced pink rhubarb. I’ve always found it a bit mind blowing that citrus is a winter thing; even if we have to borrow them from much further south.
It turns out that many of my favourite recipes are from this time of year, so choosing ten was a tough choice. I’ve selected quite a few from my app, some of which were new to the update we released last summer, and therefore haven’t had a winter outing yet. For the rest I have gone down the sensible route and suggested dishes that are perfect for healthful everyday cooking.
If you want to download my app, you can click on the tab below. There are 20 recipes designed just for winter on the app, and many more that can be adapted for winter veg too.
Here are my Natural Kitchen Adventures top ten winter recipes
- Feta Baked Eggs with Brussels Sprout Tops. Last winter I’d received Brussels sprout tops in my veg bag a few times before I could quite work out what best to do with them. Then came along this dish, inspired by the flavours of Greek Spanakopita, which usually uses spinach as the green element. Now I look forward to getting greens like this in my veg bag as I can make this delicious dish. The leaves can be quite tough, but are best when shredded and cooked like the leafier cabbages or kale. You can find the recipe on my app.
- Warm Brussels and Butter Beans with Nigella Seed Crispy Onions. Sticking with the Brussels theme with dish two. Brussels sprouts are not just for Christmas, and when roasted are delicious in a warm salad dish. This one is packed with flavour, made irresistible with the topping of onions cooked in gram flour and Nigella seeds. This dish is also in my app as well as online.
- Celeriac and Lentil Salad with Parsley Dressing and Hazelnut Cumin Crumble. Another one for app users! Following my formula of roasted veg + legumes + killer dressing + textural topping, this dish makes great use of the subtle flavour of celeriac, with the less than subtle flavour of garlic in the dressing and freshly toasted cumin seeds in the topping. One for the lunch boxes.
- Celeriac and Butter Bean Puree with Pan Fried Hake and Mushrooms. I only blogged this dish in late November, but it’s already a firm favourite for the season. That celeriac and butter bean puree is a beauty to behold, just don’t skimp on the large knob of butter.
- Red Cabbage and Citrus Slaw with Sticky Pomegranate Trout. This is exactly what I mean by winter colour. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, blood orange and clementine combine with red cabbage and pomegranate seeds to go alongside a fillet of oily fish baked with sticky pomegranate molasses! Yet another exclusively on my app.
- Jerusalem Artichoke Spaghetti with Hazelnut Parsley Pesto. In this recipe the artichokes are steamed before being sautéed with shallots and garlic (and butter), and then tossed through cooked spaghetti and a fresh hazelnut parsley pesto. Who doesn’t love pasta eh?
- Spelt, Rhubarb and Smoked Mackerel. I am on the cusp of the Millennial name-tag yet here I am once again, creating recipes with a very strong pink focus (pink is supposed to be a Millennial colour). Forced pink rhubarb doesn’t just serve a colour function in this recipe though, the sour tang of the rhubarb is a perfect pairing for the oily fish mackerel. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, rather than a fruit and though rarely used in savoury recipes, it does actually work.
- Romanesco, Beluga Lentil and Rainbow Carrot Salad. I learned recently that carrots were actually all those rainbow colours before the orange became what we know a carrot to be. Crazy times. Serve this dish warm or cold in a lunchbox. It would certainly add colour to any of those grey winter days.
- Cauliflower & Cavolo Nero Vegetable Pakoras.The best thing about this recipe is that it is so versatile, you can swap in and out your brassicas based on whatever you have to hand. I’ve also made them with curly kale, broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli and peas (frozen obviously). They look more complicated and long winded than they actually are.
- Leek and Caerphilly Cheese Chickpea Flour Tart. I’m finishing off my top ten with a recipe that isn’t a warm salad, and without a speck of pink, but it does have a Welsh influence so is still a class Ceri dish. This recipe is on my app and the best way to describe it is a cross between an Italian farinata and an egg-based frittata. I’ve played around with this recipe many times since creating it, and you can even make an egg-free vegan version by replacing each egg with 60mls (4 tablespoons) of soy yoghurt, and adding more veg instead of cheese. You’re welcome.
Well, I’ve reached my self-imposed limit of 10 recipes and I haven’t even included anything with parsnips, the bitter leaf radicchio, or nearly enough blood orange recipes. I will just have to leave you seek them out for yourselves.
What are your favourite winter recipes or ingredients? Let me know in the comments below.
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