As the weather gets colder and our thoughts turn to hearty soups and stews, the list of fresh, locally grown ingredients available right now is getting shorter. But that doesn’t mean there’s not still plenty of delicious local produce to enjoy as winter comes round! Don’t forget that fresh apples are still around in November, so why not treat yourself to some toffee apple crumbles for Bonfire Night? For more inspiration for your November meal plans, read on…
Fruit and veg to enjoy in November
Consulting the Vegetarian Society guide, we see that the following fresh fruit and veg are great for adding to our menus in November:
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Elderberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash, White Cabbage
Below, we’ve shared some ideas for using some of the fresh ingredients in this tempting list, and we’ll be talking about more of them in next month’s festive guide. We’ve also covered many of the others in our previous monthly guides:
- What’s good to eat in September for cauliflower, pears and watercress
- What’s good to eat in October for apples, butternut squash, winter squash, swede and pumpkin
Celeriac is the root of the celery plant, and although you can get it all year round, it’s at its best around now. This knobbly-looking vegetable has an earthy flavour and a similar texture to turnip, making it ideal for bulking out casseroles, stews and warming winter soups like our spicy root vegetable soup. If you’re thinking about making something easy to eat for Bonfire Night, why not try making Quesadilla? - a simple Mexican dish using tortillas. You could also dice your celeriac and use it to make this delicious mixed vegetable curry.
Elderberries are the berries of the elderflower tree, and just as with the flowers they can be transformed into delicious syrup that you can enjoy in cordials and cocktails all winter long. We’re at the tail end of elderberry season right now, but you might still be lucky enough to find some if you’ve got a keen eye for foraging.
Onions are, of course, available pretty much all year round – particularly as they keep well when stored in the right place – but with fewer fresh ingredients available at this time of year (and some more seasonal fruit and veg on this month’s list waiting for our December guide), now seems a good moment to discuss them. A whopping 970,000 whole onions are thrown out each day in the UK, but with so many uses for them, that doesn’t have to be the case!
Onions form the basis of a huge array of different sauces and soups in cuisine from around the world, but they’re also great for cutting into wedges and roasting along with your favourite seasonal root veg and squash. If you’ve got some spuds that need using, why not try our sausage, onion and potato tray bake?
Finally, we’re at the time of year now when we can enjoy a more unusual fruit as we head into winter. Similar in appearance to a pear, quince is great for making delicious winter jellies and jam, which you can use in your baking, spread on toast or even enjoy with cheese.
As ever, you can find lots more culinary inspiration for your November meal plans in our recipe bank, and if you check back next month, we’ll be finding out what’s good for eating in December!