Savouring Winter

Carvolo nero. Silverbeet. Pears. Pumpkin. Blood orange. Apple. Quince. Fennel. Walnuts. Potatoes... Oh I do love the wintertime fruit and vegetables.

Since returning to the other side of the hemisphere and enjoying the refreshingly crisp (and sunny) winter climes, I have also been thinking alot about my ever-increasing passion to cook and eat wholefoods, slowly, seasonally... so I've been flipping through cookbooks and unearthing my own recipes from the years past for inspiration.

A few days ago I made this delicious pilaf with carvolo nerso, silverbeet, mushrooms along with fresh thyme, parsley and flecks of smoky bacon... it is so very good and hearty.

~ a wintertime pilaf  ~

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped finely
1 cup roughly chopped (and washed) carvola nero/tuscan cabbage/kale
1 cup roughly chopped silverbeet (including young stems)
1 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced thickly
a handful of thyme sprigs
3 rashers of good-quality bacon (omit for meat-free option)
2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
approx. 11/2 - 2 cups boiling vegetable or meat broth
1 lemon
handful of freshly chopped parsley
olive oil for drizzling
salt & pepper to taste

In a heavy-based fry pan or sauce pan heat butter until melted. Add in onions and fry on medium heat until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms and bacon and gently fry for 5 minutes. Next pour in rice and stir around to coat grains. Cover pilaf with boiling stock - about 1/2 cup just to cover the rice. Cover and let steam cook for 3 minutes. Pour a further 1/2 cup of boiling stock, stir well and cover again. Repeat once more then turn off the heat and let pilaf steam (covered) for 10-15 minutes. Test that rice is cooked and then stir in freshly chopped parsley, the juice of 1 lemon and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste. Garnish with a little parsley and some crumbled goats cheese if you wish... 

and some of my other winter-time recipes from the years past:
Potatas Bravas (Spanish fried potatos)
Finikia (walnut + orange cookies)
Upside down pear & ginger cake

I wonder too, what is in season where you are living and how are you savouring it?