These are the first cabbages of the year, they have loose heads of young bright green leaves without the hard core found in the centre of other cabbages. Sweet and crunchy; they are ideal for steaming, stir-frying or adding to soups and vegetable bakes. To serve as a side dish simply toss cooked leaves in black pepper, add a little butter and serve with a hearty stew. They also taste delicious cooked with onions and garlic or tossed with pancetta.
A good source of vitamin C and high in fibre
With a mildly sweet, almost nutty flavour, the crisp and fresh-flavour of cauliflower is a versatile seasonal favourite. Choose a cauliflower with white heads and crisp green leaves and try lightly steaming, roasting or stir-frying. It works well with spicier flavours, so try adding it to a spicy homemade curry. Cauliflower tastes delicious raw, so for a healthier snack break raw florets into salads or serve as crudités with salsa.
A good source of vitamin C
The delicate and slender pink stems of forced rhubarb are a welcome sight at the start of the year, bringing a sharp yet refreshing flavour. Choose rhubarb with crisp, pink stalks. As a treat, try poaching chunks lightly with orange juice and sugar or roast whole with honey and serve with ice cream. Serve chilled for breakfast with low fat yoghurt and toasted nuts or spoon over pancakes. Rhubarb is perfect for comforting puddings but its sharpness also works well with rich meat and oily fish dishes.
High in fibre
Leeks are a member of onion and garlic family. They have a milder, sweeter flavour than onions and a smooth texture similar to asparagus.
Look for leeks with a firm, unblemished white lower part, and leaves that are bright green, with a crisp texture. They are a fantastically versatile vegetable; one that can be roasted, baked or braised.
High in fibre and a source of vitamin A, B1, B6 and C
Radishes are members of the Brassica family. Juicy, crunchy and crisp, they add a delightful peppery flavour to dishes. Choose firm-skinned radishes, with no blemishes. Fantastic eaten raw in crisp salads, radishes can also be briefly braised, roasted, sautéed or stir fried. They are great on their own as a healthy snack or served with a low fat dip.
A good source of Vitamin C