Olive Magazine
Borsct in bowls, apples chopped in half and jars of marmalade

January recipes

Published: January 4, 2022 at 11:46 am
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How to make the most of the best winter ingredients, from vibrant beetroot to comforting leeks and bittersweet oranges

Want to know what's in season in January? Looking for January recipe ideas? Use gluts of oranges and all varieties of vibrant beetroot from your fruit and veg boxes or local greengrocer to make these seasonal dishes and bakes. We've included plenty of tips for how to shop for particular varieties, prepping guides and useful ideas to use up leftovers.

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Rhubarb

Related to sorrel, this fruit is technically classed as a vegetable. It has thick, fleshy stalks that are sour and floral in flavour. Forced rhubarb, grown under buckets in Yorkshire, is available between January and March, and has more tender, pink stems than spring rhubarb, which is grown outside.

Rhubarb and apple pie

Celebrate tangy, vibrant rhubarb in this fruit pie with latticed shortcrust pastry. Serve with cream, custard, ice cream (or all three!) for a hearty winter pud.

Two black bowls filled with a slab of rhubarb pie and a side of vanilla ice cream

Mussels

Blue or European mussels have shiny, blue shells and are a type of bivalve. When buying, look for those that aren’t chipped or broken and that the shells are all tightly closed.

Tarragon and vermouth mussels

Make the most of mussels in this quick and easy one-pot. Use crusty bread to soak up the creamy tarragon sauce for a simple yet impressive starter.

A black bowl filled with open mussels in a creamy sauce

Grapefruit

From the citrus family, grapefruits are sweet, sour and bitter, and the flesh can be bright pink or yellow. They are great for breakfast, in dressings and salads, or made into marmalade.

Grapefruit drizzle cake

Swap lemon for grapefruit to put a seasonal spin on this drizzle cake. The sugary crust gives a wonderful texture to the golden loaf.

A golden loaf cake drizzled with a grapefruit icing

Parsnips

A root vegetable that is closely related to carrots and parsley. A tip when buying parsnips is to go for the slightly smaller ones, as larger parsnips can be woody in the centre.

Parsnip curry

Sweet and earthy parsnips are cooked with fragrant spices in this nourishing vegan curry. Serve with basmati rice for an easy dinner.

A bowl filled with rice and an orange parsnip curry

Parsnip and apple soup

Make the most of parsnip season by combining with apples in this rich and creamy soup. Serve with crusty bread for a warming lunch or starter.

A grey bowl filled with creamy parsnip soup and topped with chopped chives

This hearty stew pairs beef shin with parsnips and ale. Serve with creamy mash on the side for a warming winter dinner.

An oval casserole dish filled with a slow cooked beef and parsnip stew with a side of mashed potato

Seville oranges

Seville oranges are perfect for this recipe as their thick rind gives the marmalade extra bitterness, but you can also use normal oranges. When buying, make sure the skins feel oily – a fingernail dragged along the skin should burst the surface, releasing and orange zest aroma.

Marmalade

This classic marmalade recipe is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in your warm kitchen and use up a glut of oranges. Adding lemon juice at the end gives a little extra zing to cut through all that sugar.

Pick from more orange recipes, including Seville orange chicken and delicate orange cake.

Three jars of open marmalade with a spoon on the side

Beetroot

Beetroots usually come in three main varieties: red, candy and yellow, and will vary in size. Look out for beetroots with their stems and leaves still attached – you can use the stems and leaves like you would chard, and it is also a good indicator of the beetroot's freshness. Healthy leaves equals healthy beets.

Borscht

There’s something about the vibrant scarlet hue of borscht that feels rather cheering at this time of year. This is a classic Eastern European soup that in many ways mirrors the Italian minestrone – what you put in it and why can differ from season to season. We’ve opted for a simple winter vegetable version.

Try more beetroot recipes, including beetroot and goat's cheese tagine and a vibrant mackerel and beet salad.

Four bowls of beetroot borscht

Leeks

When buying leeks, check that the dark green tips are in good condition and make sure that you wash them thoroughly – they're experts at trapping dirt between the layers.

Chicken and leek bake

When it comes to easy and convenience, a traybake is hard to beat. Here, the sweet oniony-ness of leeks and the depth of flavour that chicken thighs and bacon bring, plus richness from cheese sauce and crunch from breadcrumbs, makes for a comforting midweek meal.

Check out more leek recipes, including a super green vegetarian lasagne and comforting leek and potato soup.

A savoury baked dish with a serving spoon in it

Apples

There are more than 2,000 varieties of British apple – and we don’t think we eat enough of them! Any variety will work in these muffins, but a crisp, tart eating apple will give them extra zing. Look for shiny, unblemished apples when buying.

Apple and cinnamon muffins

These muffins make for an easy breakfast or snack. You can swap out the wholemeal for plain flour in this recipe but we think it adds lovely nuttiness and texture.

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Try more apple recipe ideas, including old-school apple crumble, apple pie and tarte tatin.

A batch of muffins in a muffin tin

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