LIFESTYLE

Warming Winter Vegetable Recipes

By Xanthe Gladstone

I find it hugely inspiring thinking of ways to keep winter vegetables interesting. Throughout the summer, we are inundated with incredible produce and lots of it, but as things slow through autumn and into winter, it’s harder to get excited about yet another squash. I think that this challenge is what I find exciting and pushes me to get more creative in the kitchen throughout the winter. It might be tempting to turn to countries with warmer climates for our produce during this time, but exploring what’s closer to home, might be just as satisfying. 

I thought a good way to get you as excited about winter vegetables as me, would be to highlight three that I’ve been focusing on this season. I think the important thing to remember is that vegetables can be so flexible, there is so much variety in the way that you can cook a single vegetable. A butternut squash can be used in a curry, a pasta dish, and a soup and be very different in every one of those. I’ve never found being a vegetarian hard because of this versatility.

Below are three of my recipes using three different winter vegetables. I grew Jerusalem artichokes this year and I have loved cooking with them but the vegetables I have focused on for these recipes are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and squash. 

Winter Minestrone

Ingredients (Serves 4-6): 

  • 20 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 leeks 
  • 3 strips of celery 
  • 2 carrots
  • A sprig of rosemary 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • Thumb of ginger 
  • 1.4L vegetable stock 
  • 200ml oat milk 
  • 1 tinned cannellini beans 

Method: 

Grate the garlic and ginger and add them to the pan you plan to cook the soup in along with the 1.4L of vegetable stock. Let this simmer for 5 minutes.

Dice the remaining vegetables; the leeks, Brussels sprouts, leeks, celery, and carrots, and add them to the pan along with the rosemary. Add the lid, and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Add the oat milk to the soup and then taste and season with salt and pepper.

Lastly, drain the cannellini beans, rinse them, and then add them to the soup.

Season again if necessary and serve! This dish is a perfect winter vegetable recipe and full of heart warming nutrients. Lots of people think that Brussels sprouts are just for Christmas day but I love using them throughout the season.

Grilled Cabbage With Dijon Umami Dressing

Ingredients (serves 2 people as a side):

For the cabbage:

  • 1 white pointed cabbage 
  • 1 pinch of sea salt 
  • Drizzle of olive or sesame oil

For the dressing: 

  • 1 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce (normal fish sauce or rice vinegar would also work)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ tsp honey 
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Method: 

This is one of my favourite cabbage recipes! An hour before you want to eat, cut the cabbage in half or quarters (depending on the size) and soak it in a bowl of ice cold water.

After 45 minutes, make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and fish sauce. Mix until the mustard has properly dissolved and then add the honey and mix that in. Lastly, add the oil, making sure it doesn’t curdle and your dressing is properly smooth. Taste the dressing as you go, it may need more vinegar or honey.

Once your cabbage halves have soaked for about 45 minutes, get a frying pan really hot (this may take about 3-5 minutes) and then add the halved cabbage, with the middle of the cabbage on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the oil over the top, adding more if you are not using a non-stick pan.

Cook the cabbage until the middle looks nice and golden, this should take about 5 minutes, depending on the heat. You only need to cook it on one side.

Take the cabbage off the heat, transfer to a serving plate with the middle side up, and drizzle the dressing over both parts. Season if needed and serve.

The Best Squash and Kale Fritters

Ingredients (serves 2): 

  • Half a medium squash 
  • 2 free range eggs 
  • 100g plain flour 
  • 1 small handful kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper

Method: 

Put a pan on the heat full of water, while it’s heating up, peel the skin off the squash and chop it up into chunks. Let the squash soften in the boiling water, this should take about 10-15 minutes. You can check that it’s ready by piercing a fork through it, if it goes all the way through, it’s ready.

Using a potato masher, mash the squash until it’s got a smooth consistency. Whisk the egg, and add it to the squash, mixing it in. You can also add the flour at this point, making sure it’s properly mixed into the squash and egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Finely chop your kale and add that to the squash too, mixing it through.

Heat up a frying pan on a high heat and once it’s nice and hot, while it’s heating up you can shape your fritters, this recipe will make 4-6 depending on how big you want them to be. Using your hands, shape them into balls, flattening the top and the bottom.

When your pan is ready and hot, add the olive oil and then the fritter mixture, one at a time. You may want to use your spatula to flatten them more when they’re in the pan. Wait until they’re golden before flipping them over to cook on the other side, they should take about 2 minutes on each side but make sure they’re cooked in the middle too and not just on the outside.

I have served these with a herb sauce using tahini, a handful of garden herbs, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper, but they’d also be delicious with a fried egg.

XANTHE GLADSTONE

Xanthe is a chef and food sustainability advocate. She is partially self taught but has attended the world renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School to take their sustainable food course. Xanthe’s mission is to educate people of the positive effects that the right food choices can have on ourselves and our environment.

@xanthegladstone

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