Dubbed to be the next big thing! We just think that cauliflower is amazingly versatile as the flavours are quite mild and work well with various spices and herbs thus making it usable in pretty much any cuisine – just add the florets into curries, soups, serve mashed as a side or finely chopped instead of rice or cous cous. This vegetable can also be eaten raw in salads and served with dips. Try making cauliflower steaks. As misleading as that may sound, simply slice the whole head into 1cm thick slices, fry for 3-5 minutes a side until golden brown and serve with a dipping sauce (we combined soya sauce, mirin, touch of lemon juice, fresh chilli, spring onions and black sesame seeds). We like using white, purple as well as Romanesco.
Pineapple is a a tropical plant that actually is comprised of multiple berries. This fruit can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented. It is packed with Vitamin C and manganese. Culinary uses of pineapple are incredibly varied. Try infusing light rum with fresh ginger and pineapple for a couple of weeks and then use in cocktails or poured over vanilla ice-cream (not to mention the pineapple removed from the spirit would taste pretty amazing too). Try juicing or turning the fruit into smoothies – drinking as is or just adding to sparkling wine for a refreshing mimosa cocktail. Pineapple also works well with savoury dishes, such as sweet and sour chicken or served as a spicy salsa with ham or pork.
These nuts are popular around Christmas and then too often forgotten for the rest of the year. They work well blended into soups (try adding a handful to a parsnip soup), warming winter stews, but also in desserts – try combining cooked chestnut puree with mascarpone or chocolate ganache! If you’re making your own vanilla ice-cream, add a few tablespoons of the puree along with a dash of rum for an exciting end to a meal. Chestnut’s earthy flavour also works beautifully in a mushroom speltotto (just chop them finely and add at the end).
Mackerel is an oily fish with high content of nutritional oils, especially Omega-3. It also happens to be full of flavour and amazingly versatile. Try adding smoked mackerel to your scramble or an omelette in the morning or into a bowl of cooked millet for an alternative to a risotto – on the table in 15 minutes (for more flavour add lemon zest, lots of fresh dill and a tablespoon of creme fraiche)! Pan fried mackerel is our favourite preparation – crisp up the skin for 4-5 minutes in hot oil and finish on the other side for a couple of minutes, then serve with a potato, beetroot and dill salad.
Mussels are ludicrously easy to work with. Steamed mussels can be made ready in as little as 10 minutes, and we can think of very few ways to create such a delicacy that involves so little work. They are also quite inexpensive at about £5.50 per kilo. So there’s no excuse not to buy good quality mussels, ideally from a fishmonger. This ought to be easy in the UK, where you’re never more than two hours from the coast. To cook, simply steam in beer, wine or cider until they have all opened and eat whilst hot!
This is a root vegetable used as a spice, to add wonderful heat to many dishes. Always try and get hold of a fresh root and don’t bother with the creamed jarred stuff. It is a large root and can be frozen whole and grated straight from the freezer. Horseradish is very popular in Eastern Europe, where it is paired with many vegetables and meats and often fresh and in large quantities. Combining fresh horseradish with creme fraiche becomes a tasty accompaniment to salmon, beef, pork, beetroot, mackerel or potatoes.