It’s hard to remember when seasons begin and finish these days as we can now buy what was once considered season vegetable and fruits all year around. However, there are some vegetables that really are best used in their season. Right now Winter is finishing and Autumn is approaching very quickly.
In effect, that means we’ve been eating the same vegetables for the last few months.
Brussels Sprouts – good with the outside leaves quickly deep-fried and used as a garnish in salads; the trimmed centre of these crisp mini cabbages can be halved and blanched, drained and cooled and finished in butter and napped with Hollandaise.
All cabbages are not all the same and the sweet Savoy or Sugarloaf is abundant now. They can be finely sliced once trimmed of the ribs and flavoured with a citrus juice (say Pink Grapefruit), salt, pink peppercorns and a sprinkle of Spanish Paprika. Toss together as for a coleslaw.
Turnips, both white and yellow, have their own peculiar flavour and texture loved by some and despised by other (I am on the former mob). Peel and cut into chips size pieces, boil until cooked through – strain and cooled. Toss the chips in heaps of browning butter, chives, sage and green peppercorn. Great served with roasted duck.
Parsnips generally end up in soup around now although they can’t be beaten roasted. Try peeled and trimmed parsnips combined with cauliflower and some potato for texture cooked in a stock and pureed for a soup. Season when reheating – serve hot with knobs of goats curd and cracked black pepper.
Although it is hard thinking outside the usual ways in which these Winter beauties can be served, it is worth trying different approaches to relieve the typical way of serving them and to get our palates ready for Autumn.