Using winter vegetables & preserving

wintervegetables.jpgSuddenly having loads of winter vegetables from your garden or allotment that are all ready at the same time is a joy  , but  how do you find enough recipes to use them all to the best advantage.How do you preserve them if you have a glut?This year I have such an abundance of red cabbage , savoy cabbage and leeks.

 Storing surplus vegetables is so easy and worth while,especially if they are freshly picked , take a look at this storing vegetables site for some great advice.

Pickled red cabbage with onion and beetroot.

This sounds fiddly but is so easy to do as you are putting things to one side most of the time.You just have enough time to make this for Christmas.


1 medium red cabbage

4 medium red onions


50g/2oz salt dissolved in 600ml/1pt water (wet brine)

350g/12 oz cooked peeled beetroot

600ml spiced vinegar


  • Trim the outside leaves from the cabbage and cut the cabbage into fine shreds across the grain .Cut out any of the tough stalks.

  • Place a layer of cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt.

  • Continue with a layer of cabbage and a layer of salt until the cabbage is all used.Cover loosely with a tea towel and stand in a cool place for at least 12 hours.Rinse with cold water and shake off any excess water.

  • Meanwhile peel and shred the onions .Place in a glass bowl and pour over the wet brine.Cover loosely with a tea towel and leave for 12 hours.Drain without rinsing.

  • After 12 hours or so ,either slice or dice the beetroot depending on preference.

  • Pack layers of cabbage , beetroot and onion in cold large sterilised jars and completely cover with vinegar and seal.

Allow to mature for 2 weeks before using .Store for up to 3 months as cabbage may become soft after this time.


Creamy savoy cabbage with carrots


This a recipe from Nick Nairn ,I really love doing this one  , you can also add chopped bacon to it ,  bacon and cabbage go so well together.

1 large savoy cabbage

4 large carrots

50 g butter

4tbs double cream

pinch nutmeg

  • Pull off any tough outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Cut in half, then remove the hard inner core. Rinse the leaves, then shred as finely as you can.
  •  Cut the carrots into fine, thin strips or grate in the food processor.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cabbage and carrots. Boil for 6 mins until just tender, then drain.
  • Return to the hot pan and add the butter and cream.
  • Season with pepper, and salt if you like, add the nutmeg and stir well to coat. Pile into a serving dish and serve immediately.

Leek and cheese flan


Leeks are such a lovely vegetable and before I had  allotments I had decided that I hated them..They are now my favourites along with fennel and celeriac.

1 (9 inch) flan case

2 teaspoons butter 3 leeks, chopped1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste1 cup light cream or milk6 oz grated  cheese


  • Preheat oven 375f / 7 gas

  • Melt butter in a large pan and add leeks and cook stirring occasionally until tender for about 10 minutes.

  • Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to low.

  • Stir in cheese and cream and warm through.

  • Pour mixture into flan case.

  • Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until golden.

  • Leave to settle for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Celeriac mash.


Celeriac is an odd looking vegetable that seems to take months to grow, but when it is dug up and cooked it has an amazing flavour like celery but nicer.If you like celery you will love celeriac…Go on give it a go!

450g / 1lb mashing potatoes

450g / 1lb celeriac

50g / 2oz butter (if weight watching cut this out)

4 tbs milk


  • Peel the celeriac and potatoes and cut into small chunks.

  • Place in a large saucepan and cover with water.Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil,cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.

  • Drain and leave to stand for a few minutes to dry out before returning to the saucepan.

  • Mash well and stir in the milk and butter – for a really smooth mash put through a potato ricer.

  • Season to taste and serve.

Celeriac thins.


A simple snack with a difference – You can call them chips if you like!

275 g / 10 oz celeriac peeled

Oil for deep frying

sea salt



  • Cut the celeriac into 5cm / qtr inch chips.

  • Pat dry and deep fry for 2 minutes , then remove from oil.

  • Return to the oil for 1 minute when you are ready to serve and turn out onto kitchen paper.

  • Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped coriander.

Preserving vegetables and fruit


  • If you have a glut of vegetables or fruit it makes sense to preserve them.There is nothing more disapointing to have to throw food away.Try this site for freezing vegetables.

Sun dried tomatoes 

I have found this great site with a recipe for sun drying your own tomatoes and it looks to me a great site for really having a good browse.

Drying beans and pulses

For any one with a surplus of beans try this site it has a great deal of information.


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