Hi guys, welcome to my first Strictly Seasonal. Today we’re talking about what’s in season in winter and how you can use those vegetables.
Going to be honest, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve written this paragraph. I don’t know whether it’s because this is the first post of my new series and I want to make it perfect, whether it’s a combination of that and wanting to start the new year right in terms of posts, or whether I’m stressing myself out because I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing with this series. Either way, you can almost guarantee that I’ll write this 10 times, come back to a version almost identical to the first and the Spring edition will still look different.
Starting with winter was actually a great idea if I do say so myself. Winter vegetables in England is a pretty easy one. If I asked you to tell me what was in season right now, I’m sure most of you would be able to come up with a couple of things. The only downside to posting this now is that we’ve just had Christmas and this post is essentially going to be a rehash of your Christmas dinner.
What’s in Season in Winter?
Cauliflower is a more complex option. It’s in season all year because different varieties of cauliflower peak at different times. Due to slightly warmer British summers, it’s becoming easier to grow cauliflower in the UK, which has seen a slight drop in price in recent years. It typically grows in the warmer months (by UK terms) ready for harvest in the cooler months.
Cauliflower scramble recipe here.
Slightly controversial saying this so close to Christmas, but I hate sprouts. They’re one of those things you’re told you’ll grow to like as you get older, like olives. Now, I love olives, which 7-year-old Sophie would have never believed. But, much to my grandmother’s disdain, I don’t think I’m ever going to like sprouts.
My personal tastes aside, the UK produces one of the largest amounts of sprouts in the world and we export very little of them. They are most readily available throughout December and January. I’m hoping that’s because we all secretly hate them and only eat them because it’s Christmas…
We associate kale a lot with salad and summery foods so it’s probably a shock to some people that it’s a winter vegetable. Well, it’s a colder month vegetable, it’s grown throughout autumn too. It’s largely grown throughout many European countries, including here in the UK so this one is eco friendly for many.
My favourite kale based salad here.
It’s January 3rd, I don’t want to insult your intelligence by explaining the best uses of parsnips in winter. I’m sure most of you had some of these roasted on your plates on Christmas Day, which is the most common way of eating them. I’m going to be featuring parsnips as the main ingredient in one of the Strictly Seasonal recipe posts coming this week so stay tuned for that.
Maple parsnips recipe here.
Potatoes are of course available all year but they’re at their best during winter. I’m not going to tell you what to do with a potato, they’re one of the most versatile foods you can think of.
Now, we don’t grow oranges here in the UK, and they are available all year but they do reach peak season at this time of year. Most oranges in the UK are supplied from southern Spain, which is why I’ve included them here. The air miles they travel aren’t ridiculous compared to some other fruits and vegetables. Home grown fruit in the UK is almost non-existent over winter so this was more of a token gesture.
So, that’s it for the first installment of my new series! As I mentioned in the introduction post, I’ll be doing a recipe a week with only seasonal produce to continue this series and give examples of how you can eat seasonally. What did you think? Is there anything else you’d like me to include in the spring post?
Until next time,