Two nights ago it was the annual works night out for the team at Coleshed HQ. Everyone was there from administration, commercial and finance right through to the cleaners. The pub was busy but they squeezed us onto a nice little table in the corner by the fire.
It was here that we had a vigorous debate!
What is your number one vegetable!?
(I know, I know, a night out with team Coleshed must be nothing short of scintillating).
Anyway, as we quaffed the finest champagne and dined on larks tongues, our list came together; and here it is……. the question is, do you agree? you know the form! comments are welcome..
10. Red Cabbage
In at no.10 comes red cabbage. In all its guises it’s a great addition to the festive veg list, otherwise dominated by roasted veggies. We always go apple / balsamic vinegar etc, but kimchi or sauerkraut are very current in these parts.
Frankly not veg. But deeply ingrained in Christmas. An essential stocking filler.. Don’t start us on why supermarkets call any small orange coloured fruit ‘easy peelers’ and don’t give consumers credit for knowing the difference between a clementine and a satsuma. (n.b. if you are one of those duffers* then look it up!)
Another wild card – fairly obvious on the cheese board – infact essential – but a great cooked veg. You might add it to that roasting pan with the parsnips and carrots.
Now this might not be in everyones list, but it appears here for two very good reasons. Firstly it makes the most stunning soup with so little effort.
Secondly, it makes dreamy mash – defo with some seasoning and a little cream. So smooth, like silk and tasty as anything.
We’ve always been troubled as to why some folks (yes you Scots!) call these neeps. What do you call turnips then if you call swedes neeps?
Quietly sneaking onto the plate without too much fuss. Possibly swathed in cheese sauce, and you know what, you’d miss them if they weren’t there :)
Indispensable. Delicious sweet carrots. Batons not rounds. No need for garlic, but great with caraway or lemon or just fresh ground pepper. ….and get them fresh and local, straight from the ground – so much more flavour.
3. King Edward Potato
Another roasted classic. The King Edward is instantly recognisable with its little red eyes. It’s a potato that looks like it was out on the booze last night :). The definitive roasting potato. In the Coleshed kitchen we are not afraid of a little rice flour to take our roasties from good to Wowza!
Roasted of course. When they’re good, they’re very very good; but it is so easy to make them shrunken, mushy and oily. What we want is firm texture and crispy outside. This is a veg that should be eaten more often than once a year.
… and finally No. 1 it’s Brussel Sprouts
Surely the best tasting veg of all! Yes – contentious, but deservedly no.1. Too many people started life with bad experineces of sprouts. … and to be fair, they are not great when cooked badly. Clue: it doesn’t take 30 mins to cook sprouts..
Sprouts are the only veg that have had their own Coleshed post previously – as we extolled the virtues of nutty, crunchy sprouts, slathered in butter with a little lemon.. mmmmm..!
There are no end of options too; adding lardons etc, but we think there’s just no need.
We didn’t all agree on this.
There was quite a bit of talk about cranberries. Not a veg. (But nor are Satsumas) Yet very Christmassy.
Then, what about peas! peas!? many votes the other night – but what to supplant? there was talk of removing the swede or celeriac! – but I’d already taken the photos – what to do?
Either way, wishing you the finest of Christmases, hope yours is happy, healthy.
…..And remember kids. Buy locally grown, buy slow grown. If you can, buy organic. It will taste better, it will reduce your carbon footprint, and you will be supporting bio-diversity and soil health. You know it makes sense.
Now where did I put that Champagne?
*Swallows & Amazons