Even when it is cold outside I love ducking out into the garden and getting something fresh to go with my meals. This is the beauty of eating seasonally – I appreciate the flavour of what I’m eating at that moment as it may not be in my patch in a couple of months. Many of the edibles that grow in winter will not stand up to the heat of summer here.
This feathery looking herb is easy to grow during the cooler months. (unless you have guinea pigs that have discovered that they too like dill!)
Dill’s flavour is one that I find hard to describe. You tend to use dill in small amounts because of its strong flavour. A great reason to grow your own herbs – you only pick what you need and it will be super fresh.
My favourite way to enjoy dill is with smoked salmon and avocado. The freshness of the dill cuts through the richness of the smoked salmon. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over this combo – yum.
I love this recipe for Salmon Cakes by the Merrymaker Sisters. They make an awesome lunch or dinner and store well in the fridge for a few days.
Here is a useful post 8 Recipes To Use Up a Bunch of Dill for more dill recipe inspiration.
Until I had started growing my own veggies I had never heard of endive. I can’t remember why I bought a packet of seed but I did from Eden Seeds. These seeds were Endive Curly Moss. This type of endive grew like a head of lettuce would. The endive that I have grown this season is called Salad King. The seed was sown closely, directly into the ground. I didn’t thin seedlings out and there is now this jungle of Salad King endive. The leaves grow loosely and are easy to pick.
Like the name suggests, I mostly use endive leaves in salad. There is a slight bitterness to them. I have one kid that doesn’t like this flavour and another that thinks it is fine in a ham and cheese sandwich!
I may have only used endive leaves in salad but I did find a recipe online that I would be keen on trying. It is Sautéed Baby Endive.
Mizuna is also another edible that I hadn’t heard of until I started growing my own. This little known edible packs a spicy punch. I have the purple type in my patch. I have grown the green type before and noticed that it isn’t as spicy as the purple one can get.
Purple mizuna adds a touch of colour to your salads. I add finely chopped mizuna to chicken soup. You could even add it finely chopped to scrambled eggs. I use purple mizuna in small amounts though as its flavour can be overpowering. Mizuna’s flavour can be intense so less is definitely more.
Looking for more ways to use mizuna? Then check out this post, 7 Ways to Use Mizuna.
Any citrus is welcomed in our household over winter. If myself or the kids are starting to feel under the weather, we have a huge glass of juice. This season, it has been either tangelo or mandarin juice as the trees in the garden have been bountiful.
Limes are in abundance here as well. I pick bags of these at the markets. If you already have a cold, tiger tea is a great drink to sip. A friend made it for me one day and tiger tea is what she called it. Bit hard to specify quantities because you make it to taste.
Here are the ingredients – garlic, ginger, chilli, honey and lime juice. I usually add one clove crushed garlic, 1 thick slice of ginger, 1/2 small chopped chilli (deseeded), 1 heaped teaspoon of honey, 1/2 lime, juiced. Add this to a large mug. Top this with boiling water.
I enjoy roasted beetroot with a orange juice dressing as well. Keeping it simple, I usually use the juice of one orange and half the amount of juice as olive oil. When it comes to salad dressings, I usually throw all the dressing ingredients in a jar, pop the lid on and give it a good shake. But I have discovered a tasty sounding Sweet Orange Vinaigrette . This one is whizzed up in a blender so it is creamy.
Kale is my go to winter green. I try to have a few kale plants growing in the patch so I have a constant supply of kale leaves. Kale chips are a regular side dish in our house. The kids really love them – I have two fussy eaters and to see them eating kale chips definitely makes me happy.
Because of this, kale usually is served up this way. But it is easy enough for me to chop a few leaves and add to scrambled eggs, stir-fry or soup. I do this at the end of cooking the dish as kale doesn’t need long to cook.
Portuguese kale soup is recipe I discovered a few years back when I had an abundance of kale and wondered what to do with it all!
Winter is a chilly time of the year so rug up, harvest some winter ingredients from the patch and create some yummy dishes in the warmth of the kitchen.
Now over to you – What delicious dishes do you create with your favourite winter ingredients? Please feel free to share in the comments below. 🙂