Warren Elwin stays on top of the chilly season with plenty of vibrant antioxidant-rich winter veges. All produce available at select supermarkets under The Fresh Grower brand.
Also known as black cabbage, or dinosaur kale, cavolo nero is an iron-rich member of the brassica family and a potent anti-cancer green.
- Instead of boiling it, try steaming or stir frying to keep the flavour and goodness in.
- Eat it raw in salads, slaws or juices. Finely shred it with other kales, mix with toasted almonds or legumes for texture.
- Serve with a lemony anchovy dressing for a great winter salad.
- Add to hearty winter soups and stews, or shred and toss through hot pasta dishes.
- Mix various kale and beetroot leaves, spritz with a little olive oil and bake in the oven at low heat for healthy chips.
Rich in nutrients including betaine, magnesium and vitamin C, beets are sent to brighten up wintry days.
- Juice them with ginger, turmeric root and fresh citrus juice for a potent get up and go!
- Grate and eat them raw in a beetroot, chickpea, cabbage and walnut slaw.
- Slow roast them with balsamic vinegar and honey.
- Winter’s a good time for a rich, red borscht.
- Make an Indian-style condiment by mixing cooked, chopped beetroot with spices, fresh coriander, lemon zest and yoghurt.
- Don’t forget to eat the leaves. Mix them with kale and spinach for a mixed green salad. Boil or steam as a side, or bake them into a quiche.
These miniature round and conical shaped cabbages have a sweet juicy flavour and a tender crisp texture.
- Instead of boiling it, cut them into halves, drizzle with vinegar and roast until tender, then shred them to serve with roast chicken.
- Chop finely, mix with curry powder and saute in a little butter and oil.
- Blanch the leaves and use to create winter rolls, filled with a cooked rice mixture or cooked mince mixture and baked in a tomato sauce.
- Shred into vegetable soups just before serving.
- Make a quick pickle: Shred the whole cabbage, add fennel fronds, and cover in hot and spicy vinegar. Pack into sealed jars and keep it in the fridge to serve as you would sauerkraut. Try it with hot smoked fish and kumara salad.
Delicate and finely flavoured, fennel bulb has a mild and sweet liquorice taste. It’s full of vitamin C and a great source of fibre.
- Eat it raw by finely slicing the bulb and mixing through salads and slaws.
- Use the feathery green leaves as you would a herb, for an extra anise flavoured garnish.
- Serve raw as a base for marinated seafood or raw fish recipes.
- Cut the bulbs and stalks into wedges, drizzle with olive oil and lemon, and roast or braise them until tender. Try them served with grilled salmon.
- Cut the bulbs into halves or quarters, marinate with a little ginger, lemon, olive oil and pepper, then barbecue them till tender.
- Finely slice along with onions, then sauté until caramelised and serve with sausages and mash, or on top of hot dogs with mustard.
Photos by Tamara West