With Christmas coming up you know you really only want the tastiest food on your dinner table. As usual the tastiest food is going to be what you can get locally and that means eating what is in season! I’ve said it before but I really believe that eating seasonally is the best thing ever!
What’s so good about Eating Seasonally?
I can’t labour this point enough – when you eat seasonally you can’t help but eat good food. Seasonal produce can be bought locally from your nearest greengrocer or farmer, or even grown in your own garden! You save on food miles when the food is local. It hasn’t had too far to travel and it will be fresher and tastier than something that has had to fly around the world to reach you.
Believe it or not there are definite seasons for eating different meats. For example you’re not going to get a delicious lamb in winter unless you’ve flown it from half way across the world. Even if you do it’s not going to be as nice what you get locally. Eating seasonally might mean you try something a bit different this year. You might like turkey but it’s really worth trying a delicious goose at Christmas for a change. The meat tends to be darker and richer. Like duck there’s a good layer of fat outside to keep the meat from drying out so you are more likely to end up with a moist and tender roast. Unless you do a lot of prep you definitely can’t say that about turkey!
You can’t get much better for eating seasonally at this time of year than with the humble brussel sprout. These aren’t everyone’s favourite vegetable but I think that’s just because they haven’t had them cooked properly. Rather than the insipid, over-cooked offerings that tend to be the norm try steaming them. Fry off some lardons and throw in the steamed sprouts, add some chopped chestnuts and a little cream (or crème fraiche) and finish with a little grated nutmeg and you have a side dish fit for a king! I absolutely love Brussel sprouts. They are packed with goodness and are just ready for eating at this time of year. If I haven’t convinced you take a look at this collection of sprout recipes and tell me there isn’t something there to tempt you!
Speaking of chestnuts… There’s a reason you only really find them in the shops at Christmas! They are in season from about October but they really make me think of Christmas. I mostly use them in my stuffing but they are fabulous just roasted and eaten. Even better than that though they work perfectly with chocolate to make the most indulgent desserts! If you want to try something a bit different and delicious for your dessert on Christmas day then you could do worse than these chestnut chocolate pots from Nigella.
You don’t usually see leeks appearing on the Christmas dinner table but I don’t know why not! Buttered leeks are a brilliant side dish and so easy to make. Slice your leeks thinly and sauté them in butter over a low heat for about 15mins. Season them liberally with black pepper and serve. Failing that you can’t beat a bit of leek and potato soup as a starter. This recipe from Dishing Delish goes down a treat in our house – just make sure not to serve too much as it can be super filling!
Pomegranates couldn’t look any more Christmassy if they tried. In fact I love the look of them so much that I have a load of dried pomegranates to use as Christmas decorations! They can be grown in the UK in a greenhouse so I can just about sneak these in to my eating seasonally selection! They can be a bit of a faff to prepare but I think those lovely seeds and juice are worth the effort. If you are stuck for ideas of for what to do with them check out this selection of recipes for inspiration. I love adding pomegranate to a salad – I think it helps to make a very special starter for your Christmas feast!
Check out my last post of seasonal goodness for Autumn. I think we can just about get away with saying it’s Autumn ( this side of winter solstice anyway! ).
What are your favourite Christmas foods? Do you try to eat seasonally too?