It may be chilly outside but the abundance of February fresh foods is enough to warm even the coldest cook’s heart. It may no longer be the season to be jolly but it sure is the season to enjoy creamy cauliflower, hearty kale, glorious game and some of the finest produce the sea has to offer.
Eat the season: Meat and fish
We’re into the final weeks of the game season and so it’s time to fill up on hearty hare, sumptuous venison, and decadent guinea fowl and partridge. Turkey is also still around – if enough time has passed since Christmas for you to allow it back on the menu again. Enjoy rich gravies and sauces, innovative stuffings and lashings of pickles, for a menu that will have no trouble banishing the winter blues.
Continue to eat the season with seafood and fish dishes on your February menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There is no better source of February fresh foods than the sea when the likes of hake, halibut, haddock, gurnard, dab, Dover sole, red mullet, turbot and skate are just waiting to be devoured. The only difficulty you will have will be trying to decide which to cook first. What better excuse to use an abundance of ingredients to make a luxuriously hearty fish pie – topped with in-season potatoes, of course.
Eat the season: Fruit and vegetables
It should never be a chore to eat your ‘five-a-day’ in February with mellow cauliflower, tender purple sprouting broccoli, comforting swede and turnip and the sweetest of parsnips on offer. Meaty kale and traditional Brussels sprouts are the ideal accompaniment to a warming casserole, whilst Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, shallots and celeriac offer flavour bursts to complement a multitude of meals. Cauliflower cheese is an ideal midweek supper that will not break the bank or, for a real taste of the high life, treat yourself to some black truffles – or at least a shaving or two.
If you have a sweet tooth, homemade crumbles are the order of the day. There can be fewer better combinations in a bowl than tender rhubarb, buttery crumble and lashings of creamy custard. Who says winter has to be bleak? Seek out perfectly ripe blood oranges, clementines, pineapples and pomegranate for a vibrant fruity feast, or turn to windward bananas, lemons, passion fruit and kiwi fruit for a real taste of the summer sun to come.