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Seasonal Sides

Catch me if you can: Seasonal Sides

This time of year is an exciting transition period for the world of veggies.  It has been a long, arduous period of harsh weather conditions; tough frosts, windy gales and driving rain has meant the veggies available to us over the winter period have to stand their ground.  It is therefore understandable why we continuously look to the roots during this time.

However, the early months of the year bring a little freshness to the table and we start to lay to bed the iron-rich, robust ingredients for another year; but not without a grand farewell!

Cauliflower, sprouts and turnips are three of my favourite winter veggies due to their versatility and earthy, wholesome flavours.  And in miniature form, they seem to be even better!  So, in an attempt to savour these winter wonders one last time, I have three delicious recipes for seasonal sides – to be enjoyed whatever the weather!

Mini cauliflower stilton pots make for a decadent side to any roast dinner or simply enjoyed with creamy mashed potato as the star of the show.  I think these are just too good for sharing, but if you are a little more generous than me when it comes to food, this recipe works just as well in a family-sized casserole dish.

Flower sprouts are as beautiful in flavour as they are in appearance!  A direct cross between a traditional sprout and kale, these baby cabbages are dark and rich in colour and pack a punch when it come to nutrients and flavour.  Jumping on the Kale-craze, my recipe for flower sprout crisps with hazelnuts, chilli and paprika, works in exactly the same way as when cooking kale crisps.  Deliciously golden, and crunchy, these crisps are super healthy particularly with the help of essential fat from the hazelnuts and immune boosting vitamins from the chilli.

Last, but by no means least are my roasted baby turnips with honey, wholegrain mustard and shallots.  This recipe couldn’t be simpler, but is the perfect side to any dinner; going particularly well with baked ham or gammon steaks.  Sticky and golden from the honey, turnips are sweet and tender, and with a teaspoon or two of wholegrain mustard to add bit of bite, these baby roots have never tasted so good!

Mini Cauliflower Stilton Pots
  1. 4 mini cauliflowers
  2. 50g butter
  3. 4 tbsp plain flour
  4. 500ml milk
  5. 1 tsp nutmeg
  6. 100g stilton (or any blue cheese)
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. Handful of walnuts
  9. 50g strong cheddar
  1. Place the mini cauliflowers in a pan of water, bring to the boil and cook the cauliflowers for 5 -10 minutes (depending on their size). Whilst the cauliflowers are cooking, make the sauce and pre-heat the oven to 220C/ Gas mark 7.
  2. On a medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan before adding the flour. Cook off the flour for 2 minutes stirring continuously to ensure it doesn’t stick. Slowly add the milk in intervals, whilst continuing to stir carefully with a whisk or wooden spoon. Once all the milk has been added, allow the sauce to thicken before stirring through the nutmeg and crumble in the stilton. Melt the cheese in the sauce and season to taste.
  3. Drain the cauliflowers thoroughly and place in the individual ramekins. Carefully pour the sauce over each cauliflower before topping with a sprinkling of roughly chopped walnuts and a grating of cheddar. Place in a hot oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
Hells Belles' Bites
Flower Sprout Crisps
  1. 150g flower sprouts
  2. 1 chilli
  3. 50g blanched hazelnuts
  4. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  5. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  6. Salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C/ Gas mark 2. Trim the woody roots of the sprouts – some of the larger leaves will also come away from the sprout but be sure to reserve. Place the sprouts and loose leaves in a large bowl along with finely sliced chilli, roughly chopped hazelnuts and paprika.
  2. Thoroughly stir the oil through the ingredients coating all the leaves. Tip out onto a lined baking tray and spread out the ingredients evenly. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until crisp but still green, then remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Finish by seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
Hells Belles' Bites
Roasted Baby Turnips with Honey, Wholegrain Mustard & Shallots
  1. 8 Baby white turnips
  2. 12 Shallots
  3. 1 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp runny honey
  5. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  6. Salt and pepper
  1. Place the turnips in a pan of seasoned water and bring to the boil. Cook the turnips for 10 – 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in casserole dish along with the peeled shallots, mustard, honey and oil.
  2. Ensure the turnips and shallots and nicely coated before placing in a pre-heated oven at 200C/ Gas mark 7. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelised. Remove from oven, season with salt and cracked black pepper and serve immediately.
Hells Belles' Bites

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