Apocalyptic weather right across mainland Europe has virtually wiped out the imported salads and vegetables that we rely on so heavily at this time of year. The media is full of stories about how we’re running out of veg which is nonsense. There’s still plenty of very good home-grown winter produce including the Savoy, surely the finest of all our winter cabbage. Even sweeter after a frost and excellent finely shredded and eaten raw, the Savoy is a key ingredient for all winter menus.
South West growers have always been renowned for their splendid brassicas, think of Cornish cauliflowers and greens, and perhaps the most exciting of these is the wonderful romanesco. Relatively new to us the romanesco, a type of broccoli, originated in Italy at least 400 years ago, which makes it a true heritage vegetable. With its glorious fractal form, vivid green colouring, crisp texture and mild, nutty flavour romanesco is a fine addition to any winter menu.
We grow magnificent apples in this country and the season is in full flow this month. Some of the country’s very best apple growers are in the South West so you should have no problem getting hold of a wide range of really top notch fruit that is grown locally to you.
The harvest finishes in November (the last variety to be picked is usually Braeburn) but modern storage techniques mean that UK apples are available until well into the new year.