November is the month where the mild autumn starts to turn to cold winter. The days are getting darker and thoughts of Christmas begin to appear. Despite the cold and gloom, it’s nice to enjoy getting cosy and indulging in hearty foods again.
November is a time of getting organised and prepared for the winter ahead. Many foods that are in season are hardy, long-lasting foods such as root vegetables and store cupboard preserves.
One overlooked vegetable that is in season right now is the humble swede. Swede is similar to turnip, but it is larger and yellowy. Swede is a long-lasting vegetable. Swede delicious roasted, mashed as a replacement for potatoes and great in soups and stews. Alongside parsnips, carrots and beetroot, swede is delicious made into vegetable crisps too. Swede can also be enjoyed in baking – how about a ginger and swede loaf cake? It is also tasty raw and grated into salads.
Swedes are an overlooked super-veg. More often than not, green vegetables steal the limelight. Whether it’s powerful kale or elegant-looking purple-sprouting broccoli and creamy avocado, these veggies are usually on healthy-eating lists. The swede, however, is usually half the price of these popular veggies and not only last longer in the fridge, but they are also great at bulking out your favourite dishes including pub grub favourites chicken casserole or cottage pie.
Swede is also known as rutabaga in the USA. The word rutabaga comes from a Swedish word rotabagge which has several interpretations including ram’s foot and baggy root.
Swedes are a hybrid of cabbage and turnip.
Swedes are low in calories and high in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E.
Swedes are used in a few different national dishes. Most famously neeps and tatties which are served with haggis on Burns Night in Scotland. Other dishes include lanttulaatikko from Finland and kålrot in Sweden.
Sadly, swedes, amongst other unpopular veggies such as celeriac and Brussels sprouts, have been maltreated in the kitchen and have often been overcooked causing mushy, bitter slop. However, there are so many ways to enjoy these veggies that it’s time to step away from overboiled veg.
Other Foods to in Season
Now winter is fast approaching, hearty, rich foods are on the tables. Find local foods to keep you cosy throughout this coming winter. Other seasonal foods include:
- Game season is in full swing so why not try some local game from producers such as Hadrian’s Game Larder or Ridleys?
- Clementines are now in season as well as cranberries, pears and some apples.
- Pumpkin and squash varieties
- Root vegetables such as celeriac, turnips and parsnips
- Chestnuts are back in season and they are a versatile ingredient. Roast with sprouts and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or back into chocolate cakes.