One the biggest news across the media in the last week was the shortages of vegetables on the UK market due to unpredictable weather in the southern parts of Europe where some of the vegetables come from (broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, rocket, courgettes, aubergines have been affected). While these veggies are incredibly good for you, I have always been of the opinion that eating from the land around you might be a much better way to ensure you get the right level of nutrients, supporting your local economy and being mindful of adding to the carbon emissions by flying or driving all of these vegetables from across the sea. A while back I wrote about the power of eating in season which I still think it’s a relevant read.
There is nothing wrong with British veggies and you might be saving some pounds as well by choosing from the local surroundings. And if you thought that there isn’t that much variety I think you might be wrong. Below it’s a selection of what is currently in season as well as some ideas of how you could use them.
Add to this list leeks, mushrooms, potatoes and swede. All of these in season this winter.
For this time I’ve put together a salad which you can do either for dinner or for lunch.
British Winter SaladPrint Recipe
- 5 parsnips
- 5 beetroots
- A bunch of cavolo nero or kale
- 1 cup of giant cous cous
- ½ cup of quinoa
- Bunch of coriander
- Bunch of mint
- Half of red chilli
- 4 eggs
- 2 handfuls of olives
- Feta cheese
- Juice and zest from a lemon
- ½ tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1 tbps balsamic vinegar
Pre-heat the oven at 180° C. Wash the parsnips and beetroots thoroughly ensuring you get any grit out from the ridges. I usually do not peel vegetables (it saves time as well as most of the nutrients are just underneath the skin) but if your parsnips are really wrinkly and difficult to get all the dirt out then peel them. Cut them in 1 cm thick rondels. Lay the vegetables on a roasting tray, separating the beetroot from the parsnip. In 2 separate small bowl mix the Dijon mustard, with some honey and a 2 tbsp olive oil in one and another 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbps balsamic vinegar. Mix well and using a brush, brush the honey mixture on top of parsnips and the balsamic vinegar mixture on the beetroot. Stick in the pre-heated oven and roast for 40 min. Cutting the veg in fairly thin pieces will ensure a shorter time for cooking.
While the veggies are cooking put the coriander, mint, lemon juice, red chilli and a few generous glugs of olive oil in a food processor and blitz until liquid.
Half way through put the cous cous and quinoa in a pan and cover 2 inch on top with salted boiling water. Cook for 20 min. In the last 5 min of cooking cut the cavolo nero or kale and put in a steamer or colander on top of the pan cooking the grains.
Cook the eggs for 7 min tops, to ensure the yolk in still gooey. While the eggs are cooking assemble the salad. Mix the coriander, mint dressing with the drained grains. Mix through the veggies (parsnips, beetroot and cavolo nero) and the halved, destoned olives. Crumble the feta cheese on top and lay the halved cooked eggs on top.