What’s in season – December

Two plates of Jerusalem artichoke fritters next to a pot of dip and a lemon half

Jerusalem artichoke fritters (serves two)

Peel then coarsely grate 400g potatoes and 100g Jerusalem artichokes. Wrap both tightly in a clean tea towel and squeeze out any excess moisture. Tip into a bowl with 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 large egg and 1 tsp natural yogurt, stir, season and mix again. Heat a ½cm depth of vegetable oil in a large, deep non-stick frying pan and fry the mixture by the tablespoonful, pressing down a little and turning once or twice until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil, then put on a baking tray and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the rest. Blitz 1 bunch of mint with 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley (stalks trimmed), 2 tbsp cider vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil in a small food processor or with a stick blender until finely chopped, then stir in the juice of ½ lemon, 1 tsp fennel seeds and 1 tbsp capers. Spoon the herb dressing over the fritters, then serve the fritters with more yogurt on the side.

See our Jerasalem artichoke recipes for more inspiration.

Bowl of Brussels sprouts coleslaw

Originating in 16th-century Belgium, brussels sprouts are kin to cabbage, boasting a comparable flavour profile with hints of mustard, sweetness, and, according to some, a touch of bitterness. Boiling tends to amplify their bitterness, making stir-frying or roasting the optimal cooking method. Try our brussels sprouts pad Thai for a vegan-friendly way of using leftover Christmas sprouts. Or, for a non-traditional kick to this quintessential Christmas side, try our charred brussels sprouts with yeast extract butter for extra umami flavours. These versatile greens can also be enjoyed raw, finely shredded, and incorporated into vibrant slaws or refreshing salads, such as our brussels sprout slaw.

See more sides in our brussels sprouts recipes.

Two bowls of celery soup topped with celery leaves and black pepper

Optimal for cooking, the tougher outer stalks of celery are easily separated at the base. A peeler efficiently removes any stubborn strings. Conversely, the inner, more tender stalks are perfect for raw consumption. Snap them off, trim the ends, and quickly wash them. Additionally, the leafy tops contribute excellently to salads. Try our celery salad for a speedy lunch option. This celery soup recipe is perfect for this time of year as it’s warming and comforting without being too heavy or rich. But, do reserve the celery leaves to use as a garnish – they have a more delicate flavour than the stems, and also add texture.

See our celery recipes for more ideas.

Plate of blinis topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and cress strands

Watercress, a remarkably versatile ingredient, finds its place in myriad recipes. While its exceptional health benefits shine in its raw form, this leafy green can also elevate the flavours, colours and textures of various hot dishes. Experiment with it in our hot-smoked salmon, double cress & potato salad platter – watercress proves it’s not confined to just egg sandwiches! Moreover, it’s a breeze to grow at home or buy for less than 50p. Give our four-ingredient salmon & herb blinis a shot – they’re perfect for a last-minute get-together.

Slices of toast topped with a romesco sauce and some charred leeks

A great way to cook leeks is to blanch them, then char them on the outside. You’ll end up with a great mix of textures, and the sweetness of the inner leaves is balanced by the blackened edges. This burnt leeks on toast with Romesco recipe makes a delicious starter.

Try using leeks in place of onions in your recipes – they’re especially useful when cooking for one, as you can cut off a small piece and leave the rest in the fridge for another day.

Try this hearty veg in our leek recipes.

Browse recipes for, and information on, other ingredients in season in December:

See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.

Seasonal food dates in December:

Two glasses of eggnog with cinnamon stick garnish

2 December – English Breakfast Day

Start your day off right with a hearty portion of English breakfast. Check out our breakfast recipes for more morning options and check out our ultimate makeover full English breakfast for a healthier version of this classic.

5 December – Pig in Blankets Day

Celebrate this delicious side dish, perfect for any Sunday roast or for special occasions such as Christmas. Check out our pigs in blanket recipes for inspiration from twists to good old-fashioned classics.

24 December – Eggnog Day

Kickstart Christmas with a glass of festive eggnog. Make our classic recipe, or try our non-alcoholic and vegan versions.

Other food dates for your diary:

20 December – National Sangria Day

Normally considered to be a summer drink, it turns out that National Sangria Day is in December! Check out our sangria recipes, which are perfect all year round.

Check out more seasonal recipes

Top 20 winter recipes
Top 10 ways with red cabbage
Top 10 ways with parsnips
Top 10 winter soup recipes

What are your favourite ingredients to cook with in December? Leave a comment below…

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