As it gets colder outside, our bodies naturally want hearty, warming food, to replace the extra calories we use staying warm. There are some wonderful seasonal recipes which hero in-season eating. Here are some of our favourites.
Super salad with wild rice and Brussel sprouts
From Jamie Oliver
As the incoming dark and rainy days of December move us towards more warming and comforting foods, it’s time to enjoy kale and Brussel sprouts. This superfood salad is made with seasonal ingredients, as well as being dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, high in fibre and low fat.
300g mixed wild rice
2 red onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
500g Brussels sprouts
1 large bunch of mixed soft fresh herbs, such as mint, parsley, basil
1 large handful of dried cranberries or raisins
extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the wild rice according to the packet instructions, then drain and leave to cool on a large tray.
- Peel the onions, then using a mandolin (or a food processor with a fine slicing attachment), finely slice them. Transfer to a bowl and add the red wine vinegar. Scrunch them together and set aside.
- Using a mandolin, shred the sprouts and radishes, then, in a bowl, dress them with the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt, massaging the flavours into the veg with your hands. Set aside.
- Pick and finely chop the herb leaves and pop them into a large serving bowl. Add the rice, onions and lemony veg as well as the cranberries or raisins, and toss together.
- Drizzle over some oil and season, then stir and serve.
From Jamie Oliver
Did you know that lean minced lamb gives us a bumper hit of Vitamin B12, keeping our immune and nervous systems healthy and preventing a drop in our energy levels? Combined with a hit of Vitamin C from the humble swede, what isn’t there to love about this heartwarming dish?
- 500g lean minced lamb
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 800ml organic chicken or veg stock
- 800g swede
- 800g potatoes
- 2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
- 15 g mature Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mint sauce
- 350g frozen peas
- Put the mince into a cold casserole pan. Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
- Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan. Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly.
- Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor). Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
- Wash the swede and potatoes (leaving the skins on for extra nutritional benefit) and cut into 3cm chunks.
- Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through, drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.
- Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven. Add the Worcestershire and mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.
- Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much. Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Nice with seasonal greens.