The nights are getting longer and there’s a nip in the air, which can only mean one thing: winter is on its way!
Although colder weather means waving goodbye to short sleeves and swimsuits for all but the bravest among us, there’s still stuff to get excited about, namely all the delicious winter seasonal produce that proliferates when temperatures plummet.
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions and turnips are all root vegetables that come into their own in wintertime, as do leafy greens like cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts. Here’s our pick of the best winter warmer recipes that take advantage of the spoils of the season.
Winter is the perfect time for soups, curries, and casseroles -- make sure you invest into a good non-stick casserole dish to help make these recipes a breeze.
Winter is Root Veg's Time to Shine
There’s a massive range of root vegetables that hit the shelves around this time, and many of them complement one another really well, so don’t be afraid to team them up.
Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Curry
This simple sweet potato and butternut squash curry is an ideal example of such a pairing, with the sweet flesh of the veggies providing the perfect backdrop to intense flavours of turmeric, cinnamon and ground coriander. This warming winter vegan curry is ideal for batch cooking!
Make this delicious curry in a lidded casserole and serve with rice.
Roast Vegetables with No Waste Pesto
Beetroot and carrot is another dream team duo, and now’s the time of year to get them fresh out of the ground, tops still attached.
Taking a bunch of beetroot and carrot, clean them, and then, using a very sharp knife — a Japanese Santoku knife is ideal — finely slice them and place them on an oiled baking tray or sheet in a single layer.
Roast your vegetables at 200°/180° fan for 20-40 minutes and enjoy as a delicious winter side dish to any number of meals.
To elevate these roasted vegetables, serve them with a zingy no-waste pesto made from the vegetable tops you would normally throw away such as the one in this recipe.
Or serve drizzled with tabasco!
Other times, key winter ingredients need to take centre stage. That’s what happens in this Riverford recipe for Mexican-inspired pumpkin soup, which gives the usually mellow pumpkin some Mexican flavour, courtesy of corn, avocado and smoked paprika, plus a kick of chilli that really warms the cockles!
It's the perfect soup for a crisp winter night. Made it in a soup or stock pot.
Leafy greens and plenty of beans
‘Winter warmer’ may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of greens, but because lots of greens are really robust plants, they can survive cold weather better than many other veggies!
Mushroom & Kale Lasagna
Get into the winter spirit with your greens by teaming up kale, for example, with the rich, decadent flavours associated with November and December, as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does in this hearty nd vegetarian mushroom and kale lasagne. Eating your five-a-day was never so comforting or delicious as this!
Make sure you have a good non-stick roasting tray to help make serving up your lasagna a breeze.
Chard, Bay & Lentil Gratin
Anna Jones’ chard, bay and lentil gratin is what cosy, night-in cooking is all about!
Enjoy lovely seasonal chard, with this quick recipe taking just a couple of quick steps to fill a deep, oven-safe casserole pan. Give it half an hour in the oven and hey presto! A bubbling, flavour-packed dish that’ll feed the whole family.
Kale & Bean Soup
Elsewhere, this vegetarian soup combines kale and chard with a bulb of fennel, too, and lots of hearty beans to boot. This is a healthy, comforting and vegetable packed soup that makes even the coldest night feel warm!
Roast Cabbage Side Dish
Finally, a reminder that sometimes simple is best!
As a delicious seasonal side for chicken thighs, drizzle chunky wedges of cabbage with oil, lemon juice and caraway seeds and then roast them for an ideal December dinner.
What’s your go-to recipe for winter veg? Start a discussion in the comments or let us see a photo of the dish on Instagram @CirculonUK