Cooked on the grill, fresh vegetables make for a light main or a bright side dish packed full of nutrients. But not all vegetables are created equal. Choosing your produce according to whether it’s in season is a way to connect with local growers while also boosting the textures, flavours and vitamins on your plate – just make sure you use a Weber Basket to catch all those lovely juices. At Weber, we will be telling you all about the best food to eat every season, finally with Winter:
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...is classic of Christmas dinners the world over. Red cabbage is a hardy vegetable that grows during these cold months. Best to cook it as you would a steak – thick slices, and grilled on a medium heat for 10 minutes a side, or until soft. Unlike a steak, you'll have to marinate it in balsamic vinegar to give it some flavour. Serve either as a side, or, for vegetarians, as you would a burger in a bun, with pickles and melted cheese. Red cabbage is one of the relatively few vegetables native to northern Europe, and has been cultivated since Celtic times. It's rich in potassium, so great for avoiding heart attacks and keeping blood pressure healthy. December is the best month to grab it.
...is the vegetable equivalent of winter barbecuing – softer sorts will never go near it, but hardy types understand its unique pleasures. Chicory has a famously bitter taste which can put many off, but, combined with the smoke of a grill and lashings of cheese, it's one of the season's true joys – and perhaps this writer's favourite vegetable. Simply quarter each bulb (allow for one bulb per person), drizzle them in honey, and grill them in the Weber Vegetable Basket for five minutes per side on a medium heat. The secret is to turn this bitter bulb into comfort food, so serve with melted cheese and butter, especially something nice and strong like Stilton, cheddar or parmesan.
Chicory is a descendent of the dandelion, and its roots have been used as a coffee substitute during times of crisis, like the Great Depression or the American Civil War. It could also help you in times of need – it's packed with the rare vitamin K, which is vital for the proper clotting of the blood. Begin picking up in January.
… are another all-time winter classic. Just pierce their shells, and throw a handful in the Basket, and they'll be toasty and ready to go in minutes. Just watch your fingers for the steam! You can use these in a salad, or as a base for a dessert (chestnut mousse is a French classic, and the delicate smokiness will add to its joys), but for this writer the purest pleasure is eating them piping hot, straight out of the shell, as nature intended. They've been part of Christmas celebrations for centuries, though originally they were given to the poor on the Feast of St Martin in November. Poor and rich alike will benefit from them, packed as they are with energy-giving starch, but, unlike other nutty cousins, are relatively low-fat. They're also great for brain health, so think smart – and get roasting.