Paired with a little sadness at turfing out our beautiful Christmas tree (though the hens now will get its benefit as a climbing frame) is the feeling of enthusiasm for getting on with the New Year and taking a much needed break from several weeks of gastronomic overindulgence. But I'm not the giveupeverythinguary type so instead I look forward enjoying some healthy but delicious meals with the mildest intention to focus on the foodie aspect of Demijohn's wares, rather than the drinky ones.
We are still several months away from salad season (the rain lashing my window in early afternoon darkness is ensuring that I don't forget this) but one of my favourite foods, which even feels relatively virtuous, is a huge tray of roasted winter vegetables: red onions, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, leeks all tossed together with a Demijohn Chilli infused Rapeseed Oil, salt, and roasted. It brings a bit of colour to the dish if you throw in a handful of halved brussel sprouts for the final 10 minutes of cooking time. When everything is roasted season with black pepper and a generous dressing of Demijohn Apple Vinegar to draw out the comforting sweetness of these wintery wonders.
Another much maligned winter vegetable is Cabbage. Admittedly boiled in the Dickensian workhouse manner it is truly ghastly but I love cabbage chopped up raw or braised with cooking apples and cheered up with a bit of chilli and Damson Vinegar.
Braised red cabbage
Soften half a chopped onion in Chilli Rapeseed Oil then add sliced red cabbage for a few minutes. Add some cubes of Bramley Apple if you wish. Stir in a spoonful of flour and seasoning and then slake the flour with Demijohn's Damson Vinegar and leave on a medium heat until the cabbage is cooked to make a deliciously rich winter vegetable dish. Check that the cabbage isn't catching and add Damson Vinegar as needed.
Demijohn's Yorkshire lemon Rapeseed Oil brings an air of the Mediterranean to the dankest day and I love to use it to finish a kedgeree or a mushroomy pasta dish. A generous slug stirred through before serving is all that is needed. It can also be used to make a delicious lemon mayonnaise to accompany any fish dish, and after all – fish is always healthy – at least healthier than the mince pie and chocolate biscuit fest I have been on recently.
For a fishy treat don't forget our delicious recipe for John Quigley's hot smoked Salmon using Demijohn's Bramble Vinegar – delicious, incredibly nutritious and utterly delightful!
And if you need an indulgent treat then our favourite winter medium for our Kabbadates single estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil is this recipe for heart-stopper potatoes. As the name suggests it isn't going to remove the Christmas tummy but January and February can be pretty glum without a little bit of fun! Utterly delicious served with a steak and, I think, a vast improvement on Steak Frites.
Scrub some Maris Piper Potatoes and chop into cubes about 1-1.5cm across. Sprinkle into a roasting dish no more than 1 layer deep. Chop finely several garlic cloves and sprinkle over the potatoes. Drizzle the whole tin with Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil and turn the potatoes until they are well coated in oil. Sprinkle the potatoes liberally with rosemary and salt and roast in a hot oven (about 200C) for about 30 minutes. Turn the potato cubes about half way through the cooking time to prevent them sticking to the tray. Utter heaven with steak and salad, or anything else frankly!