Winter Warm Recipes from our Kitchen Garden – this showcases the vegetables that have survived an East Yorkshire winter …… so far!
(The first half of this post, Winter Warm Recipes from our Kitchen Garden, was published in Mid-January, then at the beginning of February we had an almighty ‘hiccup’ with my Mac, Firefox browser and our blog, which resulted in this post being lost. Meanwhile I had been writing up some more recipes using the vegetables from our Kitchen Garden, so I have put back part of the original post with some more recipes.)
Erik and I had a very bad Winter in the Kitchen Garden last year (click here to see raised beds under snow), so this year I have tried to provide cover for the more ‘delicate’ vegetable plants. But the pleasure of tramping up the garden last weekend, over the white lawn with breath exploding out of me like a dragon, digging up some Celeriac and chopping off leaves of my White Silver Chard, and my dark green Cavolo Nero (Kale) more than makes up for the work involved earlier in the year.
And the end result, actually eating our own vegetables (and fruit) still gives us so much pleasure. Food just tastes so much better when you’ve spent time nurturing it, but for us, in this day and age of additives etc, to know what (or what not) you have sprayed or sprinkled on it makes you feel less at the mercy of Supermarket Buyers and more in charge of your own eating habits. Also, again, it tastes so very good.
Just a quick note: I thought it would make sense to write up the recipes then add the pictures as and when we cook the dishes. I like pictures with recipes, in fact I usually demand pictures, so I apologise for some photos not being there at the beginning.
So, Winter Recipes from our Kitchen Garden? What recipes are our favourites? In Autumn and Winter, when we overflowing with ‘comfort food’ and rich Christmas dishes, sometimes I just long for something crunchy, and Celeriac Remoulade more than fits the bill (you’ll find the recipe at the bottom of the page). A fresh, tasty and crunchy side-salad, that cuts through the richness of heavy sauces. My Celeriac have done better this year, and Erik and I ate this tasty salad, partnered with Erik’s Crispy Chicken. Heaven. Unfortunately our picture of the dish wasn’t up to scratch, so I will have to make the Celeriac Remoulade again and put the photo on with the recipe.
Kale Frittata is another one of our favourites, a type of ‘use up the fridge remnants’ vegetable omelette, guaranteed to fill you up, especially if partnered with either a Winter mixed salad, made more interesting by dry-fried Walnuts, or my ‘special’ of the moment, Pomegranate Seeds, or a lovely Summer salad with Red-skinned Apples, Celery and Grapes.
Keeping with Kale, whether it be the normal frilly, pale green Kale bought in the supermarkets, or the very dark-green, peppery Cavolo Nero, or the beautiful maroon Redbor, it is very rich in vitamins and minerals, and helps fight infection. And amazingly, there are a huge amount of recipes. Remember to always use the younger, more tender leaves (or blanch the older leaves first) then wash really well, slice into strips, then boil or steam for 2-3 minutes or stir-fry. The very tender new leaves can be used in a mixed-leaf salad, with an oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing. Delicious! Sarah Raven, one of my ‘gurus’ for growing vegetables, explains that in Summer, due to lack of water, the taste of Kale is often very strong and bitter, but in Autumn and Winter, especially after the first frost, Kale is said to have a mild and creamier taste.
Ribolitta I have already written about, just click on the name for the recipe. To die for if you love hearty Italian soups. From “Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook”, Quick-fried Kale and Kale Seaweed are two fun, quick recipes. Kale, Tomatoes and Mozzarella Sauce makes a brilliant sauce to go with Penne or Spaghetti.
Chard is one of my favourite Winter vegetables. I grow the White Silver Chard, which grows strongly, normally, throughout Winter. Bright Lights is a great one to grow, with its red, yellow, orange or pink stems, but the white-stemmed Chard seems to be a stronger version, even in East Yorkshire. Our all-time favourite Chard dish is Chard Gratin, a dish which defies description almost. The end result is an extraordinary rich dish, and the faint crunchiness of the stem chunks, mixed with the leaves, cream, parmesan, nutmeg and a topping of crispy breadcrumbs goes so well with Roasted Lamb, Chicken, Pork or almost anything. Chard is incredibly versatile, and in time I will write up many recipes for this and all our vegetables.
Celeriac Remoulade - the classic French side-salad, for when you are gasping for a fresh, crunchy dish in Winter.
- Celeriac - medium, washed and scrubbed well
- Lemon - juice of one lemon
- Mayonnaise - 3 tbsp - either home-made or good quality shop-bought
- Horseradish Sauce - 1 full tbsp - creamy variety
- Dijon Mustard - 1 tbsp
- Capers - 1 tbsp - drained and chopped
- Parsley - good handful, chopped finely
- After scrubbing the Celeriac, peel and cut into as even slices as possible, then cut each slice into even matchsticks (julienne) and put into a bowl of water, adding the lemon juice to stop them going brown.
- Mix the mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, Dijon mustard and the chopped Capers in a large bowl or jug.
- Drain the Celeriac matchstick slices to remove as much water as possible. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Mix the Celeriac slices in to the mayonnaise mixture gently, then add the finely chopped parsley. Sometimes I add a sprinkling of lemon zest.
- Either roll up in the ham, or serve as a side-dish.
Celeriac Remoulade is a brilliant partner to a Crispy-skinned chicken breast, Harissa-marinated lamb chops and goes especially well with thick slices of Christmas roasted gammon. Or how about just the simple way of rolling the salad up inside some thin slices of Serrano or Parma ham. Delicious.