Week 34 - Christmas Food with Seasonal Ingredients
Christmas is a great time for sharing some lovely food with family and friends ... and there is plenty of seasonal produce to choose from. Here are my top 7 seasonal Christmas foods and some great recipe ideas. Foods in season relate to the UK and northern France.
7 Festive food ideas with seasonal ingredients
1. Brussel Sprouts
Christmas really wouldn't be the same without sprouts although I am sure many an overcooked small green ball has ended up in the dog/bin. So buck the trend this year and try one of the recipes suggested here from The Guardian - 10 Best Brussel Sprouts Recipes. Head to the farm shop for local Brussels sold on the stalk for better keeping quality and sweetness and store in a cool place such as a garage/shed until you need them.
After all the enormity of Christmas dinner I always get a craving for a salad. Many traditional salad ingredients are not is season in December (i.e. tomatoes, cucumber, peppers etc) but there are still plenty that are. Choose your festive salad ingredients from lambs lettuce, cress, rocket, celery, carrots, oriental greens, cabbage, winter radish, spinach etc. Oh and avoid those bags of salad leaves - too much plastic wrapping, chemical treatment and imported leaves. You could also try my recipe for Grated Beetroot Salad.
Vicky over at Homegrown and Foraged recently put together a round up of beetroot recipes and she has included some really quick and east ideas for recipes which could help get you through the Christmas period when you may be cooking for extra people.
4. Red Cabbage
I absolutely adore red cabbage and my favourite recipe is to slow stew it with apple and onion to serve on Christmas Day. It goes with all roast meats as well as vegetarian recipes. You can find a recipe in my post on Seasonal Recipes for November.
5. Winter Squash
These are harvested in Autumn and their thick skins enabled them to be stored all through the winter. How about making a warming curried squash, lentil and coconut soup. Head out for a bracing Christmas walk and enjoy this warming soup on your return. You can use any type of squash or pumpkin available, just check it is grown locally and not imported.
Before freezers and at a time when fruits were not imported to our supermarkets apples were a mainstay of the fruit bowl with many varieties storing well through the cold winter months. Why not try adding some grated apple to your mince pies? Christmas Apple and Cranberry Chutney would make a lovely home-made gift.
This hardy herb stands well through winter and has to be my all time favourite herb (after all I am actually called Rosemary, although never go by that name except on official documents!). This Christmas why not scatter some chopped rosemary over your roast spuds. You can also add finely chopped rosemary to savoury crackers and even sweet biscuits for something a bit different.
Do let me know if you have any favourite recipes for Christmas using seasonal veg, fruit and herbs and I could include them in a later post.
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