Recipes: Cold weather cures

Chantenay and root vegetable crumble with a cheesy topping

Sweet creamy carrots topped with a savoury crumble. This easy vegetable dish is great if you have vegetarian guests for dinner.

Serves: 4

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  50 minutes

You’ll need:

300g Chantenay carrots

500g peeled and cubed mixed root vegetables

e.g. parsnips, sweet potato, squash, swede

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

40g plain flour

40g butter

400ml milk

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tbsp horseradish

50g grated mature cheddar

50g wholemeal breadcrumbs

Sea salt and black pepper

Grated nutmeg

What to do:

Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4-5. Heat a frying pan, add the olive oil and sauté the Chantenay carrots and the mixed root vegetables and onion for 4-5 minutes, season with sea salt, black pepper and some grated nutmeg. Place in an oven proof dish.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mix together and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Do not brown.

Remove from the heat, pour in the milk and whisk the mixture until smooth. Place back on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, whisking constantly until just boiling.

Simmer for 1 minute, remove from the heat, then add the horseradish and crème fraîche, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the vegetable mixture.

Mix together the cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the vegetables and sauce.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes so the vegetables are cooked and the topping is golden brown.

Asparagus, Salmon & Pumpkin Rice Bowl

This wholesome dish makes for a healthy and colourful lunch or dinner option that’s packed with goodness. Simply prepare the ingredients and pop them in the oven.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

You’ll need

500g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces.

1 tbsp oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

Pinch of chilli flakes

2cm ginger grated

1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed

2 salmon fillets

2 tsp honey

200g cooked brown rice

1 tbsp peanuts, chopped

4 sprigs coriander

Squeeze of lemon


What to do

Heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan. Toss the pumpkin, oil, cumin, chilli and a pinch of salt in a large oven tray and roast for 25 minutes. Meanwhile rub the ginger over the salmon and drizzle with honey.

After 25 minutes add the asparagus and salmon to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Once cooked put the pumpkin, asparagus and rice in a bowl, top with a salmon fillet, the chopped peanuts and coriander. Squeeze a little lemon over everything.

Radish, Ham and Ricotta Pizza Breads

These flatbreads are bursting with clean, bright flavours. Combining creamy ricotta with fresh crunchy radishes for a dish with flavour and zing.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 2-3 minutes

You will need:

200g ricotta cheese

½ small pack tarragon, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 flatbreads

8 radishes, sliced

75g Parma ham

1 handful rocket leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

What to do:

Mix together the ricotta cheese, chopped tarragon and season to taste.

Spread the ricotta mixture over two shop bought flatbreads.

Put under a hot grill for 2-3 mins to warm through.

When they are warmed and slightly toasted around the edge, remove from the grill and top with the sliced radishes, Parma ham, rocket and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Isle of Wight Tomato Risotto

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

You’ll need:

450g fresh whole Campari tomatoes or similar

2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

½ tsp sugar

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

800ml chicken or vegetable stock

15g butter

1 tbsp light olive oil

2 finely chopped echalion shallots

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

200g Arborio rice

150ml dry white wine

100g mozzarella roughly chopped

30g freshly grated Parmesan plus extra for serving

Chopped fresh basil for serving

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Put the tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Lay the tomatoes and garlic halves on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes or until the skins of the tomatoes have collapsed and are just starting to brown.

Put the roasted tomatoes and garlic in a blender along with the chicken stock and blend until smooth then keep hot in a small saucepan.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rice rosemary and salt & pepper, stir and cook for one minute. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and boil until the wine is mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes.

Add about ¼ of the hot tomato mixture. Cook, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has been incorporated, then continue adding a little at a time, stirring regularly as the rice absorbs the liquid (this will take 20-25 minutes). The rice will begin to swell and become creamy in texture. Stir in the mozzarella and Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the rice is too dry, stir in a little extra hot stock.

Serve immediately in wide bowls, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Slow Cooked Brisket of Beef with Beer, Celery, Shallots and Herbs

Melt in the mouth beef that you have let cook slowly all afternoon? What could be easier. Here celery, shallots and carrots form the basis of a rich, flavourful gravy.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight marinating

Cooking time: 3.5 hours

You’ll need:

1.5kg beef brisket (flat not rolled)

400ml beer, IPA is perfect

4 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

4 cloves garlic

1 tbsp oil

4 sticks of celery, trimmed and cut into 7cm pieces, split lengthways if too thick

8 shallots, peeled

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp tomato puree

½ - 1 tsp chilli flakes (to taste)

What to do:

Marinade the beef in the beer, bay leaves, thyme and garlic overnight, turning once or twice. The next day remove the beef and reserve the marinade for later. 

Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and brown the beef well on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside, Add the vegetables to the pan.

Stir to coat with the beef fat, turn the heat down and cook for 5-8 minutes with the lid on.

Stir the veg well, then stir in the sugar, Dijon mustard, tomato puree and chilli flakes.

Pour the reserved marinade into the pan, including the garlic and herbs, stir well and season.

Return the beef to the pan, if it’s not completely submerged, baste meat with the liquid and turn it halfway through the cooking. 

Cook in the oven for 4 hours with the lid on or until tender and the meat pulls apart.

Once cooked, the meat should be very tender and falling apart. Shred and pull the meat apart and stir into the sauce. Serve with root veg mash.

Note: Ask for the nug end of the Brisket, it’s thicker and usually has better marbling so will be more tender when slow cooked.