It may be cold and blustery outside, but there are lots of great tasting seasonal crops to cook with in the winter months.
Winter veg is full of flavour and goes well with roast meats as a side dish, but they’re also wonderful whizzed into soups, slow-cooked in casseroles and stir-fried with warming spices. This season’s heroes are kale, cauliflower and leeks, but don’t forget to look in store to see what else is in season and perfect for eating right now.
This leafy green veg has become very trendy, making appearances on restaurant menus, foodie blogs and, of course, your dinner table. And it’s the latest craze for snacking – kale crisps anyone? We love it stir-fried with extra veg, meat or fish and Chinese flavours.
Extra Tip: Kale is best stored in a plastic bag in the fridge and eaten soon after buying, as the flavour gets stronger the longer it’s kept.
Did you know: Kale contains less moisture than greens such as cabbage and spinach, so it doesn’t shrink as much during cooking.
Related to the cabbage family, cauliflowers are often enjoyed covered in cheese sauce alongside a Sunday roast. But how about trying something different? Try roasting the florets with a spicy coating for a tasty twist.
Extra Tip: Roast a cauliflower whole for an impressive veggie centrepiece.
Did you know: Cauliflower is also delicious raw. Cut into small florets for dipping in houmous or guacamole.
Leeks are milder than onions and add great flavour to sauces and gratins. We like turning them into a speedy side dish by pan-frying with bacon – the leftovers taste great with pasta!
Extra Tip: Be sure to wash leeks thoroughly, as soil can get trapped in the layers.
Did you know: Leeks have been the national emblem of Wales since the 7th century.
Versatile and rich in vitamin C, you can do so much more with cauliflower than just boiling it. Bring out its flavour by roasting it with spices – it makes a delicious side dish.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/Gas 6. Put 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets, into a roasting dish with 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tbsp olive oil and a little freshly ground black pepper.
Mix together until well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, then serve.