Use the best of winter’s produce to create warming and comforting dishes, all perfect for the chilly season
‘Tis the season of shorter days, cosy evenings and proper
comfort food. While there may be more homegrown produce available in spring and summer months, winter still offers a plethora of delicious ingredients to cook with.
Wintertime (by which we mean December, January and February) is a celebration of root vegetables, as the likes of celeriac, parsnips, beetroot, onions, fennel, swede and Jerusalem artichoke are all in season. On top of those, it’s the season for pumpkin, mushrooms, leeks, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, too; while apples, pears and cranberries are ready to be picked for sweet condiments and indulgent puds.
When it comes to our favourite winter recipes, Christmas classics – braised red cabbage, roast turkey, veggie stuffing – are, of course, right up there, but there are so many other dishes that fill us with joy and plenty of goodness throughout the whole season. We’ve got recipes for winter weeknight dinners, hearty lunches, delicious desserts and everything in between.
If you’re looking for meal ideas for specific winter months, see our guide to what’s in season (and what we’re cooking) in December, January and February.
We’re using in-season Braeburn apples in this pork casserole, along with bacon lardons, kale and cider. The result is a sweet-savoury and utterly comforting stew.
Recipe: Pork and cider casserole
Brussels sprouts are more than just a side to your Sunday roast. Here, they feature alongside basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and lemon zest for a delicious (and easy) pasta dish.
Recipe: Spaghetti with sprout pesto
A veggie side dish to remember – roasted squash and Brussels reach a new level when paired with crumbled blue cheese and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe: Roasted squash and Brussels sprouts with blue cheese
The addition of butternut squash make the polenta even silkier. Topped with garlicky fried mushrooms, this dish is a delicious (and truly filling) wintertime lunch.
Recipe: Polenta with garlicky wild mushrooms
Nothing says "comfort food" quite like a molten, cheesy gratin. This one features celeriac and smoked haddock as its base, and is topped with Gruyère for added indulgence.
Recipe: Creamy smoked haddock and celeriac gratin
This creamy remoulade – a French dish that’s similar to coleslaw but uses grated celeriac in place of cabbage – is an in-season side that works well with grilled fish, roasted meat, burgers and schnitzel.
Recipe: Celeriac remoulade
In this classic French dish, in-season leeks and tarragon are sautéed with white wine and served alongside tender chicken breasts. One word: delicious.
Recipe: Tarragon chicken fricassee
Make onions the star of the show at dinnertime with this deliciously sweet, savoury and sticky tart. We use ready-made pastry too, so prep time is halved.
Recipe: Red onion tarte tatin
This purple-hued risotto, made with pearl barley instead of arborio rice, features fresh beetroot, frozen peas and soft goat’s cheese to finish.
Recipe: Pearl barley risotto with beetroot and goat’s cheese
Say hello to another gorgeous gratin! Made with fresh gnocchi, sprouts, smoked salmon and gruyere cheese, it’s indulgent, delicious and a guaranteed wintertime winner.
Recipe: Creamy salmon and sprouts gnocchi gratin
A celebration of winter produce, celeriac, onion, garlic and thyme are blended with cream and vegetable stock to make this silky soup.
Recipe: Celeriac and thyme soup
This easy chicken and mushroom stroganoff recipe is a hearty mid-week dinner (and great reheated for lunch the next day), which can be made with all types of mushrooms. Why not see which your local farm shop or greengrocer has in stock?
Recipe: Chicken and mushroom stroganoff
The slow cooker does all the hard work with mushroom bourguignon. This dish is completely vegan, as a dollop of Marmite provides an extra umami hit.
Recipe: Mushroom bourguignon
This toffee pear and chocolate cake is the ideal accompaniment to a cuppa on a dreary winter day. Firm pears are the key to this bake, as, even after poaching, they’ll hold their shape when the loaf is sliced.
Recipe: Toffee pear and chocolate loaf cake
Winter is very much the season for chestnuts, so honour them in this delicious, gluten-free torte. It’s the perfect dessert for a party.
Recipe: Flourless chocolate and chestnut torte
Yes, you read that correctly… Beetroot in a chocolate pudding! The beetroot keeps these sponges so moist and soft, without you even knowing it’s there.
Recipe: Chocolate and beetroot steamed puddings
This deep-filled tart is filled with cinnamon-laced apples, serving up a big hit of festive spice. Enjoy it with a dollop of extra thick cream or vanilla ice cream.
Recipe: Dutch apple tart
These oven-steamed chocolate puds have a light spicing thanks to the cardamom, and remain light and moist thanks to the pear. Serve with a generous glug of double cream. Yum.
Recipe: Pear, cardamom and chocolate puddings
This classic French tart consists of pear quarters set amid an almond frangipane filling. It’s delicious served by itself but we love it with a scoop (or two!) of cocoa-rich chocolate ice cream.
Recipe: Pear flan Bourdaloue
This sweet and zingy marmalade marries two of winter’s crop – cranberries and red onion. Enjoy with cheese or paté, and be sure to give any extra jars you make to friends and family as a homemade gift.
Recipe: Cranberry and red onion marmalade
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