In the first of a new series, we’re looking at some of the delicious dishes you can conjure up to make the most of what’s in season this month.
Fruit and veg to enjoy in February
This handy guide from the Vegetarian Society tells us that the following fruit and veg are at their best this month:
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, White Cabbage
From this tempting list, we’ve picked four of our favourite fresh ingredients to give you some culinary inspiration and make sure nothing goes to waste. What will you add to your February meal plans?
Every day, a whopping 2.7 million whole carrots are thrown away in the UK - yes, every day! With so many delicious ways to use up carrots, there’s no reason they should end up in the bin. How about a mouth-watering carrot cake, or these tasty carrot cookies (which you can also pop in the freezer for another day!)? For something savoury, some spicy carrot burgers will fit the bill perfectly for meat-free Monday - as will these flavourful carrot, cumin and coriander fritters.
Loved for their mild oniony flavour, leeks are a great ingredient for adding to all manner of dishes, as well as steaming or frying them in butter to enjoy as a side dish. Try this leftover leek and potato pizza if you’ve got some spuds to use up as well – or that good old classic, leek and potato soup, which you can freeze in portions for some easy lunches another day. On a cold February night, why not warm up with a hearty chicken and leek pie?
Fresh mushrooms are at their best from December to March, and they’re delicious fried in some butter and served on toast. You could stuff larger mushrooms, such as portobellos, with cheese and roast them for a tasty starter or side. If you’ve got some mushroom-sceptics to cater for, you can easily disguise them in sauces such as Bolognese - just chop them very finely (or grate them) and they’ll never notice!
With their steak-like texture, portobello mushrooms make great beefburger substitutes. You can also grate up any leftover mushrooms and mix them with eggs, flour, onion and breadcrumbs (great for using up stale bread!) to form tasty vegetarian patties. For a simple meal that you can leave to simmer all day, try our chickpea and mushroom slow cooker feast.
Cabbage may not seem the most exciting of ingredients, but there are a few different varieties to enjoy this month – white, savoy and red – and they’re surprisingly versatile. As well as steaming, boiling or roasting it in wedges for a Sunday roast side dish, you can transform raw cabbage into crunchy coleslaw for a tasty accompaniment to any leftover meat (or your mushroom burgers!) It’s also great for bulking out stir-fries, fermenting into homemade sauerkraut or adding to warming soups and stews to get you through what’s left of winter.
Check out our other recipes for lots more culinary inspiration, and check back next month for some ideas on using up fresh produce in March!