When Winter Comes

16 June 2020
When Winter Comes

As the cold weather sets in, regular contributor, gardener and blogger Kerrie Maloney shares some hearty recipes using produce from the winter garden.

Give them a go - they'll nourish both body and soul!


                                                                                                                                                                                                       Kerrie Maloney

Winter is upon us and despite our desire to enjoy the freedom from pandemic lockdown, it is the season we are most likely to bunker down and embrace hearty comfort food.

There is something warming and nourishing both physically and psychologically about soup, casseroles and baking. It is also the time of year that I do most of my garden maintenance and remodelling so my winter crops are usually limited to silverbeet /chard, lettuce, herbs, rhubarb and citrus. Fortunately those friends with more extensive veggie gardens and a greater commitment to the garden supply me with surplus things from theirs, chiefly leeks, cauliflower, cabbage and sometimes Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts in the garden

Each of these recipes can be used as an accompaniment to a protein or meat dish or as part of a banquet style meal where you can have a few tastes of different dishes. All leftovers reheat well in the microwave.

This glazed cauliflower dish has become a firm favourite. Reminiscent of the sweet and sour of my childhood, with no pineapple or meat, it makes a good dish for vegetarians and vegans.

Glazed Cauliflower Stir Fry

Glazed Cauliflower Stir Fry

1/4 cauliflower
1 red capsicum
1 red onion
Oil for stir frying

Spring onions, thinly sliced to serve

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 -2 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine ingredients for the glaze.
Wash and cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
Wash capsicum. Remove stalks and seeds and cut flesh into quarters lengthwise and then each piece into strips diagonally. Peel onion and slice into thin strips.
Heat a little oil in a pan, add cauliflower and fry until golden brown. Add onions and capsicum, mix well and continue to cook for a minute. Reduce heat and cover and cook a further 1 -2 minutes.
Remove lid and increase pan until really hot. Pour over the gaze and allow the glaze to reduce a minute or so until thick and coats the vegetables.
Serve garnished with thinly sliced spring onions.

Brussels Sprouts, opinion is so divided about them; however, they are so good for us and as long as they are not overcooked provided an interesting green option. This salad or side dish has converted some of the most reluctant Brussels Sprouts eaters that I know.

Brussels Sprouts and Hazelnut Salad variation on a bed of homegrown rocket with diced avocado and finely chopped red onion

Perhaps it is my distant Irish heritage that makes me think of potatoes as the ultimate comfort food. There isn’t anything that can be done with them that I don’t like, although, I do try to limit the hot chips. Potatoes seem to find their way into so many dishes and are a fabulous base for many vegetarian and vegan meals. One of my current favourites is based on an Ethiopian dish that includes potatoes, carrots and cabbage. I make this quite often as it is not too spicy and can be spiced up with the addition of some fresh green chilli puree. It also reheats fabulously in the microwave.

Ethiopian Style Potato & Vegetable Vegetable Stew

Ethiopian Style Potato and Vegetable Stew

2 teaspoons or more Berbere spice mix or other
African spice blend
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
Small amount of oil to fry spices
3 or more cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, large dice
6 potatoes (approx 1kg), cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups shredded cabbage
fresh coriander, chopped
1 -2 green chillies, finely chopped or pureed with a little oil to serve

Add other vegetables that you may like to add. I often add frozen peas or some chopped green beans to the mix.

Put oil in saucepan, add spices and fry over low heat until fragrant, add onions and garlic and continue to fry, stirring until onions are slightly softened.
Add a little water if necessary to stop spices burning. Add potatoes and carrot and a little more water and mix well.
Cover and reduce heat, cook until potatoes are almost soft. Stir gently so as not to break up potatoes and add more water if necessary.
Add cabbage and mix through, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Top with chopped green chilli or green chilli puree.

What could be more comforting than this easy cheesy potato bake? I nearly always make it with a combination of cauliflower and sometimes add in sweet potato. I have found it a great way to convert the ‘caulie haters’ and leftovers can be pureed with a little water or stock to make a delicious soup. If it has a high proportion of cauliflower add one tablespoon on of flour to the cream and cheese mixture. Use half milk and half cream for a lighter option.

Cheesy Potato Bake

Speaking of Irish heritage perhaps you would like to try Boxty, a traditional Irish pancake made with
mashed potato. They make a delicious snack with butter and relish and are great with salmon as a
main course.

Feel like baking? Potato can be used for cakes in much the same way as carrot or pumpkin. This quick tea cake is very easily prepared in a food processer and like all cakes made with oil and vegetable or fresh fruit keeps a little longer.

Potato Tea Cake

Potato Tea Cake

2 medium potatoes , approx 300g
1 cup grape seed oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 cups SR flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix together
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

To Serve
Additional cinnamon sugar (optional)

Make half quantity and bake in a sandwich pan.

Grease and line the bottom of 9 inch tin.
Peel and grate potatoes.
Place oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl. I use an electric hand beater on low to mix them.
Stir in flour, cinnamon and then potato, making sure that it is well mixed
Spoon the cake batter into the greased and lined tin.
Sprinkle topping evenly over the top of the cake.
Bake 160 Deg C until a skewer tests clean, approximately 45 minutes.
When cooked remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for at least half an hour.

To Serve
Remove cake from tin and serve with butter. Some of my friends enjoy an additional sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

To make in food processer
Peel and quarter potatoes and place in the bowl of the food processer, add oil and sugar and blitz until the mixture is pureed.
Add eggs, vanilla and cinnamon and blitz again.
Add flour and use the pulse action to mix. Do not over mix.

Potato Tea Cake - sliced and buttered

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