Eat with the Season: November

Brussel Sprouts
Beetroot Brussel Sprouts Quince Walnuts
By CharlotteJones November 26, 2009
The root vegetable beetroot is probably most chefs’ favourite ingredient.  Available in the winter, suitable for pickling, a distinct taste but one which works well with many other flavours and an intense colour.  To cook, wash but do not peel, then either boil, steam or bake until tender.  Once cool the outer skin can be rubbed off.  To avoid stained hands wear gloves!  For a particularly colourful plate try recreating Valentine Warner's (everyone's favourite champion of seasonal produce) beetroot and green sauce recipe…   Ingredients 2 medium raw beetroot olive oil large-flaked sea salt For the green sauce handful fresh mint, finely chopped handful fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp baby capers, rinsed and drained ½ banana shallot (or 1 ordinary shallot), finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 6 canned anchovy fillets in oil, drained, chopped ½ tsp Dijon mustard 4 tbsp olive oil ½ lemon, juice only Method 1. Put the beetroot into a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside until just cool enough to handle, then carefully rub off the beetroot skins. Discard the skins. 2. Place the mint, parsley, capers, shallot and garlic into a bowl. 3. Add the anchovies and the mustard and mix well. 4. Add the olive oil and the lemon juice sparingly, adding more as required. Mix well and leave to stand. 5. Chop each beetroot into eight equal wedges and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and drizzle with the green sauce. 6. Serve immediately.
Brussel sprouts… merely uttering the name will have friends and family running from the table with horrific childhood Christmas memories.  However, every celebrity chef has recently decided to make an attempt to champion the good old sprout, each creating inventive recipes, none of which involve boiling for hours with bi-carbonate soda!  Sophie Grigson’s recipe proved Glam’s choice for their Sunday roasts…   Ingredients 900g/2lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed 20g/¾oz butter 4 tsp sunflower oil 150g/5oz bacon lardons (or rindless back bacon, cut into short fat strips) 20g/¾oz flaked almonds 400ml/14fl oz double cream 2½ tsp lemon juice 5½ tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese salt and freshly ground black pepper Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. 2. Place the sprouts into a saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half. 3. Place the butter and oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned. 4. Add the sprouts and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. 5. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 2-4 minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 6. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish. 7. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture. 8. Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream visibly boiling. 9. Remove from the oven and serve in the gratin dish (when the dish has cooled slightly).
Cydonia oblonga, more commonly known as quince, belongs to the same family as apples and pears. It has a similar shape to a pear but is significantly larger.  When ripe the fruit has a fantastic perfume and is a wonderful dessert ingredient… Ingredients For the honey and walnut cream 150ml/5fl oz double cream 25g/1oz diced walnuts 3 tbsp clear honey For the apple and quince slice 450g/1lb ready made puff pastry 50g/2oz melted butter 110g/4oz quince jelly 6 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices 25g/1oz caster sugar 4 sprigs mint, to garnish Method 1. In a large bowl whip the cream with an electric whisk until thick. Fold in the walnuts and honey, and place in the fridge. 2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. 3. Roll out the puff pastry thinly and prick the surface with a fork. 4. Cut out four rectangles sized 10cm/4in by 20cm/8in. 5. Place the rectangles onto a non-stick greased baking tray. 6. Lightly brush the edges of the tarts with a little of the melted butter and spread the quince jelly on the middle. 7. Layer on the apple slices. 8. Drizzle the top with most of the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar. 9. Place in the oven for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. 10. Remove the slices from the oven and glaze with a little of the remaining butter. 11. Place on the plates and serve with a spoonful of the honey and walnut cream.
Walnuts are one of the most versatile nuts, perfect for savoury salads when teamed with orange and blue cheese, are a key ingredient to arguably the best and densest bread in the world, some of the sweetest desserts, not to mention a simple accompaniment to a glass of tawny port.  However, at the moment, the favourite option for lunch in the Glam office is a recreation of Raymond Blanc’s chicory, walnut and Roquefort salad… Ingredients For the dressing 50g/2oz Roquefort cheese 2 tbsp soured cream or crème fraîche 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar pinch freshly ground black pepper For the salad 16 chicory heads, halved lengthways 100g/3½oz walnuts, shelled and roughly chopped 1 pear, halved, cored, finely sliced 1 stick celery, finely sliced 80g/3oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled 2 tsp finely chopped fresh chives Method 1. For the dressing, using a wooden spoon, cream the Roquefort cheese in a small bowl. Add the soured cream and stir until smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and white wine vinegar and season with the freshly ground black pepper. 2. For the salad, place the chicory, walnuts, pear, celery and two-thirds of the Roquefort in a large bowl and toss with the Roquefort dressing. Arrange the salad on a serving dish, crumble over the remaining Roquefort and sprinkle over the chopped chives.
Winter hits, packing a punch with intense flavours and contrasting colours: beetroot, sprouts, quince and walnuts.
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