Seasonal in February

February might just be the worst month of the year. Christmas and New Year are merely memories, while the gut resulting from massive calorie intake, and the overdraft remain all too real.

Oh, and let’s not forget the weather. If you are in the northern half of the world then it is truly grim; rainy or snowy, windy and damp.

This though is not the time to feel glum, it’s the time to wage war on the cold with food for the soul, fortifying tagines, hearty stews, root veg, clams, mussels, and maybe some roasted venison.


Birds and beasts

There isn’t a lot to say about the meat in season this month, other than… venison, venison, venison. It’s just that good, and it probably costs a lot less than you think.

Goose
Turkey
Mallard
Venison
Hare
Guinea Fowl
Partridge

Creatures from the deep

Fish and seafood can be very summery things, lighter than meat and often delicate and best cooked simply with a minimum of fuss, but treated the right way they can also be so hearty and warming and wintry and wonderful, just the thing for rainy February afternoons.

If you’re in the UK, salmon fishing season has just started in most places. So, if that is your thing, then get your implements out… first rod, and then frying pan.

Clams
Cockles
Winkles
Mussels
Oysters
Scallops
Sea Bass
Dover Sole
Lemon Sole
Gurnard
Haddock
Halibut
Hake
Turbot
Bass
Salmon
Langoustine
Lobster

The fruits of the earth

It’s time for cabbage, and not just any but Savoy, the king of cabbages. Then there is kale and sprouts, those wonderful little balls of green goodness. If you aren’t a brassica fan though, don’t worry because leeks, root veg, and rhubarb are the other stars of the month.

Celeriac is a very underused vegetable that is well worth having a play with if you haven’t already. Just like H.C. Andersen’s duckling, it may look ugly and uninteresting, but it definitely has hidden inner beauty!

Cabbage
Kale
Brussels Sprouts
Leeks
Chicory
Kohlrabi
Beetroot
Cauliflower
Rhubarb (forced)
Blood Orange
Pears
Walnuts
Horseradish
Jerusalem Artichoke
Carrots
Parsnips
Turnips
Celeriac
Sprouting Broccoli
Swede
Truffles

It’s pretty easy to beat the wintry blues when you are armed with a bit of deer and some freshly dug up root vegetables. If all of that isn’t enough though, then it’s perfect weather for spending the afternoon with a decent bottle of red.