Make Christmas a local affair and source your festive lunch at the market…
Brussels sprouts: the one ingredient on everyone’s mind at Christmas has to be sprouts. Love them or loathe them, they are an essential part of the Christmas Day feast. This year, we may not see them in as much abundance as previous years due to the warm, dry summer so make sure you visit stalls early to claim your greens!
Parsnips: well, we’ve had the early frosts already so this year’s parsnips should be some of the sweetest yet. Toss them in a little maple syrup before roasting to bring out that sweetness, or turn them into a spicy soup for after the Boxing Day walk.
Roasties: just as with Sunday lunch, it’s the roasties can make or break your festive meal time! Choose potatoes that give you crispy outsides yet fluffy-as-cloud insides – go for Maris Piper, Marfona or King Edwards – and boil until almost soft. Toss with polenta then roast in hot goose fat for the crunchiest potatoes.
Carrots: whole carrots, roasted with a little thyme and olive oil, look gorgeous on the Christmas table – even better if you seek out the jewel-like colours of the heritage varieties.
Broccoli: freshly picked calabrese, lightly steamed, brings a much-needed simplicity to the rich food of Christmas. Purple sprouting broccoli is also fantastic at this time of year and gives proceedings a little more grandeur, as well as a tantalising bitterness to counteract all those sweet root veg.
Cauliflower: vegetable of the moment, cauliflower is an extremely versatile ingredient. Use it to make vegan cauliflower steaks, gluten free pizza bases or cauli couscous. It’s also great roasted with a sprinkling of spices or turned into meltingly hot cauliflower cheese to serve up alongside rib of beef. Or pick up one of the dazzling purple caulis or green-tinged romanesco varieties to serve alongside your turkey.
You can find a huge array of seasonal vegetables at the following stalls this Christmas:
Meat: if you haven’t already ordered your meat, go and have a chat to our regular suppliers. There are turkeys from Monmouthshire Organic Turkeys, Hinton Marsh Farm and Madgetts Duck and Geese as well as quality cuts of beef, ham and sausages at Frocester Fayre, Adeys Organic Farm and The Stowe Herd.