This November, British parsnips and potatoes are our heroes.
To help you get the most from November, we have some fantastic quick and easy recipes which are centred around both of these delicious British seasonal favourites.
Plus hear from our British farmers who provide us with their delicious fruit and vegetables for your table throughout the autumn and learn more about all the other fruit and veg in season this November.
"For over 22 years, Bartlett’s Farms have been growing parsnips. For 2 years now, we’ve been supplying the Co-operative with parsnips out of our family-run farm in East Anglia.
We’ve been hard at work nurturing our crop this year and if the weather is playing up, we lay straw over our parsnips to protect them. By roasting our parsnips, you’re sure to get the best out of them!”
"I grow Estima potatoes for The Co-operative at my farm in Goole, East Yorkshire.
With their light, soft texture they’re the perfect variety for baking – in fact we leave extra room for them to grow to the bigger ‘baking’ size. Why not try baking yours, leaving to cool, then cutting into potato wedges and shallow frying?
I, personally, love a baked potato with just a little butter and salt!”
The arrival of winter sees a whole host of fantastic fruit and vegetables come into their own.
Ranging from versatlie carrots to purple cabbages, there is something for everybody in the family to enjoy.
Want to find the keys behind many of your favourite winter dishes?
Simply click on an image opposite to find out more.
Sweet, crisp, crunchy - the most autumnal of fruits are perfect for enjoying on their own as a delicious, healthy, energy-boosting snack. And when used as an ingredient they can be transformed into some of THE great desserts combining magically with flavours such as caramel, cinnamon or blackberries.
All 'eating' apples can be used in cooking, but the opposite is not the case. Bramley is the definitive English cooking apple and it bakes to a wonderful fluffy texture. For cooked dishes requiring a firmer texture (such as apple tarts), Cox or Granny Smith are a reliable choice. Egremont Russet is a sweet, crisp and nutty choice- fantastic with a cheese board or when cooked with warm spice flavours. As well as the more obvious deep dish pies, spiced cakes and cinnamon crumbles, try adding wedges to rich savoury dishes of roast pork, pan fried chicken with leeks and cider and sausages braised with red cabbage and prunes.
Its sweet, earthy flavour and velvety smooth texture make beetroot a key ingredient in many fabulous salads. Toss with goats cheese, toasted walnuts, and sliced pears for a delicious lunch; combine wedges with dressed summer lettuce, chopped spring onions and slices of warm chicken breast or steak, or dice with capers, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for a tasty relish to serve with grilled mackerel or juicy burgers.
For fabulous gooey chocolate cakes and brownies, add pureed cooked beetroot to the batter before baking.
Members of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts have a distinctive sweet, nutty flavour and texture. Smaller, greener sprouts have the sweetest taste.
The essential Christmas veg, they can be served simply as a side vegetable with some chopped chestnuts or a sprinkling of sesame seeds, added to casseroles or sliced and stir-fried.
Try shredding and sautéing in butter with thyme, chestnuts and crispy pancetta or steaming and pureeing with crème fraiche for a delicious side dish. Alternatively, shred and stir fry with sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger. For a creamy soup, simmer with onions, vegetable stock, milk and crumbled Stilton cheese.
With its crisp texture and wonderful bright green leaves the savoy cabbage is a real chef's favourite.
Cabbage can be enjoyed in many ways, boiled, steamed or stir fried. Try stir fried with garlic, ginger and chilli, plus a dash of soy sauce, or stirred into cooked potatoes and pan fried for a delicious bubble and squeak. A portion of cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin A and it’s high in fibre too.
With a mildly sweet, almost nutty flavour, crisp and fresh flavoured cauliflower is a versatile seasonal favourite . It's excellent when lightly steamed, roasted or stir-fried, but should never be overcooked as it'll go grey and tasteless.
It’s receptiveness to spicier flavours like cumin, turmeric, chilli and ginger renders it invaluable in many Indian dishes –try adding to a spicy homemade curry. It also pairs famously with cheese, and great with mustard, lemon and green beans. Sauté briefly with garlic, minced ginger and turmeric. For a delicious thick and creamy soup, puree cooked cauliflower with vegetable stock and milk, and stir in handfuls of your favourite blue cheese. For a super healthy snack, break raw florets into salads or serve as crudités with salsa, houmous or guacamole.
Steamed, boiled, roasted, stir-fried, braised – versatile carrots have many different flavours depending on how they are prepared. Used in both sweet and savoury dishes, carrots can be enjoyed raw in salads for crunch, or provide a melt-in-the-mouth sweetness giving depth to slow cooked meat dishes.
Why not roast carrots with olive oil and herbs or stir-fry to add colour and texture to oriental dishes. We love sweet and intensely flavoured Chantaney carrots. No need to peel, just wash and slice off the tops. Toss whole carrots in seasoned olive oil then roast or add to a succulent beef and red wine casserole.
Serve raw with a minty yogurt and garlic dip or quickly steam then stir in harissa, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh coriander to serve with grilled lamb.
A crisp and crunchy variety, with sweet mild flavour that is perfect served raw in salads such as coleslaw. As well as the traditional mayonnaise dressing, try a lighter Asian version dressed with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Also good shredded and quickly boiled or steamed as a side vegetable and served with black pepper and butter.
Kale is part of the cabbage family. It has attractive dark green leaves and has a rich pungent flavour with peppery notes.
Try shredding and adding to Indian dishes, soups and stir fry’s. It is packed with foliate and Vitamin C and high in fibre and protein too.
The leek is one vegetable that is at its best during the coldest months of the year and because it’s packed with nutrients will help stave off winter colds and flu too.
It is a fantastically versatile vegetable; one that can be roasted, baked or braised and has a sweet taste and a smooth texture. They have a milder, sweeter flavour than onions and a smooth texture similar to asparagus.
Onions provide a powerhouse of flavour that is the backbone of so many dishes - slowly softened in butter or oil, onions bring flavour to everything from spicy chilli to slowcooked casseroles.
Try them baked whole and stuffed with cheese and bacon, or sliced into shreds and fried to a golden tangle then use to fill a tart.
Make a creamy onion tart by sautéing chopped onions slowly in butter, until soft. Mix with cream, eggs and grated Gruyere and bake in a crisp pastry case.
With their soft flesh and sweet, mellow flavour, parsnips add a warming element to comforting winter dishes. Roast parboiled parsnips until almost tender, then add chunks of apple, sprinkle with nutmeg and finish roasting - delicious with grilled pork. Make a spiced parsnip soup, with warming ginger, cumin and coriander. Mash cooked parsnips with potato, butter and thyme, shape into cakes, coat with flour and fry till golden.
Mash with cooked carrots for a colourful side dish, or toss parsnip wedges in olive oil and a little curry paste, roast until tender and serve with mango chutney and raita. Whole roast parsnips are delicious drizzled with honey and sesame seeds, or spiced with cumin and accompanied by a sour cream dip flavoured with lemon and coriander. Raw parsnip is also good grated in a salad or into a cake or muffin batter.
Aromatic, dense and grainy in texture, pears are a wonderful autumn treat, and come in a range of flavours and textures and can be enjoyed in many ways other than as a delicious snack. Exceptional when poached with red wine and vanilla, they are also stunning with rich dark chocolate sauce.
Alternatively, try them in salads or add to an after-dinner cheese board; they go particularly well with Pecorino or Roquefort.
Williams’s pears – golden yellow or red-tinged, juicy and sweet but with a firm texture are great for cooking. With a long, thin shape and russet skin, Conference pears have very sweet and juicy flesh and are ideal for desserts.
Larger than the turnip and with a rough skin that is partly orange and partly purple, the Swedes’ shabby appearance belies its fine texture and distinctive, sweet tasting flesh.
When roasted or mashed (on its own or with carrot), Swede makes a simple delicious side dish. It can also be used to add texture and absorb the rich flavours of casseroles and stews. Swede is the traditional accompaniment to haggis in Scotland where they are known as neeps. Look for bright, small Swedes with smooth, unblemished skins, larger Swedes are likely to be tough.
With creamy coloured skin and a purple crown, turnips have a rounded flavour - sweet and slightly peppery - and are nutritionally rich. Smaller turnips are sweeter and tenderer than the larger ones. Peel off the skin and cut it into bite-sized chunks and add to a rich beef casserole or stew.
Every fruit or vegetable has a season when it is at its best. Use our interactive seasonal wheel and search either by month or by your favourite fruit or vegetable
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