#1) Brussels sprouts, apple and cheddar
What a great surprise! Even Paul loved this. I used the slicing disk on my food processor to make quick work of the sprouts, and the rest of this dish came together in no time. I'm always looking for raw vegetable salads for the winter months, and this is definitely one that I'll be repeating.
#2) Stuffed cabbage leaves
Due to some poor planning on my part, I made stuffed collards with orzo and ground turkey one night, and these stuffed cabbage leaves the next night. I thought for sure we would all prefer the ones made with turkey, but we actually preferred these. This sounded like a strange combination but it really worked. The flavors came together beautifully.
#3) Sweetcorn fritters with coriander or mint raita
One of my all-time favorite recipes is fresh corn fritters. I make them in summer, topped with goat cheese and sliced heirloom tomato. These weren't as good, but for winter they were a very nice change-of-pace. I really liked the Indian flavors.
#4) Curried sweet potato soup
Paul liked this soup better than the corn fritters, but it's my blog so we're using my ranking. I wished this soup wasn't quite so thin--next time I will cut down on the broth--but I liked the warming spices. I made this the same night as the corn fritters and thought they went quite well together. I used the raita I made for the fritters to top the soup as well.
#5) Creamy potato and celeriac mash
Potatoes, butter, and cream. What's not to like? I though the celery root was a great addition. It made this more interesting than standard mashed potatoes, and allowed me to tell myself that it was a little bit healthier.
#6) Leek risotto with chestnuts
I followed the recipe's instructions to crumble the chestnuts, but wish I had sliced them, it definitely would have made for a prettier presentation. We enjoyed this risotto--I don't know if I've ever had a risotto that I didn't like--but chestnuts just aren't my favorite.
#7) Roasted roots with apple and rosemary
I roast vegetables all of the time, especially in winter, and I thought the apples and rosemary were a very nice addition. The only problem was that I kept avoiding the vegetables in my search for more apples.
Paul and I thought this was fine, but Charlotte loved it. Go figure. I like the flavor of chestnuts a lot more than the texture, so if I'm going to eat chestnuts this probably is the way for me to go.
#9) Bruschetta with cavolo nero
This is one of those simple recipes that really depends on the quality of the ingredients. We had this on home baked sourdough bread, and really enjoyed it. My only complaint was that my kale was too chewy. Next time I will cook the kale until it's very soft.
I have a confession to make. At the last minute I was worried this wouldn't be enough food and decided to double the recipe. Unfortunately I only had one can of garbanzo beans (and no time to run to the store) so I added a can of tuna fish instead. We really enjoyed it, but I don't get credit for making a vegetarian dish. We gave Charlotte her own bowl and she very carefully ate only the pasta, handing us back a bowl of chickpeas and tuna when she was finished. Oh well. She will be a more adventurous eater eventually, right? :-)
#11) Salsify puree
I'll be very curious to see how many people found salsify. I couldn't find any, thought about substituting a common root vegetable (like carrot, parsnip, or rutabaga), but changed my mind when I spotted a burdock root (several feet long!) at the store. I decided to give it a try. I have no clue whether it tasted anything like salsify, but I was pleasantly surprised. The puree had a very nice flavor. We didn't love eating it on its own, but I think it would be very good on some bread.
#12) Patatas bravas
I loved the patatas bravas that we had in Barcelona, and have since enjoyed them at tapas restaurants in the US, but have never made them at home. I was excited to try, but somewhat disappointed by these. I think mine were under-salted (all my fault), but also thought the flavors in general were a bit flat.
#13) Swede speltotto
I love the idea of using a whole grain (spelt) instead of rice, but have to admit that I would have enjoyed this better with rice. It wasn't bad, but not my favorite either.
#14) Roasted baby beetroot with walnuts and yoghurt dressing
Baking beets continues to baffle me. Sometimes they're ready in an hour, sometimes they take more than two, and it doesn't seem to be very related to their size. For this recipe I bought small beets, but they still took over two hours to bake. That meant they weren't ready until after dinner, so we didn't eat this salad until the next day. I have a feeling it would have been much better fresh. I think I'll need to give it another try.
#15) Corner shop spanakopita
This wasn't bad, but I've made a lot of spanakopitas and this was nowhere near my favorite. I didn't love the cumin seeds and, as much as I love puff pastry, I do prefer fillo for this type of recipe. This was fine, but I'll choose another recipe in the future.