The bitter frosts and colder weather brings out the sweetness in many veggies. November is the season for leafy greens and root vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbages of all colours, carrots, celeriac, greens, kale, parsnips, pumpkins and squashes.
All of November’s vegetables go well in warming autumn hotpots and hearty roasts. British apples and pears are still in abundance, and are fabulous mixed with crunchy walnuts and chestnuts.
Parsnips are a member of the carrot family, which is not surprising as they look similar.With their soft flesh and sweet, mellow flavour, parsnips add a warming element to comforting winter dishes. Go for small to medium parsnips which are firm, larger ones tend to be more fibrous. Parsnips taste delicious roasted whole and drizzled with honey and sesame seeds, or spiced with cumin. Raw parsnip is also good grated in a salad, or into cake or muffin batter.
High in fibre
Nutritious, delicious and endlessly versatile, Maris Piper potatoes have a creamy flesh and pleasant floury texture. As a good all-rounder this tasty variety can be used in numerous dishes: crisp, golden chips, irresistible buttery mash, creamy gratins and crunchy roasties. Try stirring pesto into a buttery mash to serve with chicken; horseradish cream to go with a juicy steak, or grainy mustard with sausages or pork. Sauté cubed potatoes and chopped onions with mild curry paste, then add fresh chopped tomatoes and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Wilt spinach leaves on top just before serving. Or lightly toss parboiled chunks in olive oil spiced with curry powder, and roast until crisp and golden.
High in fibre
With its crisp texture and wonderful bright green leaves the green cabbage is a real chef’s favourite. Packed full of moisture it can be enjoyed in many ways, boiled, steamed or stir fried. It lends itself to being a side dish or shredded and stir fried in butter with a couple of twists of black pepper. Try stir frying it with garlic, ginger and chilli, plus a dash of soy sauce, or stir it into cooked potatoes and pan fry it for a delicious bubble and squeak.
High in vitamin C and fibre
With their purple crown and creamy coloured skin, turnips have a rounded flavour with sweet and slightly peppery notes. Smaller turnips tend to have a sweeter flavour than larger ones. Peel off the skin, chop into bite sized chunks and add to stews and casseroles, larger chunks can be roasted until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Try not to overcook them as the taste can be overpowering.
Good source of fibre and vitamin C
Members of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts have a distinctive texture and sweet nutty flavour. Smaller, greener sprouts have the sweetest taste. They can be served simply as a side vegetable with some chopped chestnuts or a sprinkling of sesame seeds, or try adding to casseroles or slice and stir fry. 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.
Good source of vitamins A and C, and 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.
Good source of vitamin C