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In season recipes: what to cook this January

Chef, author and whole-food campaigner Tom Hunt knows a thing or two about eating seasonally. In this post, Tom shares his top tips for January’s best produce; including four recipe ideas. So, read on and learn how to become a seasoned cook (see what we did there?).

Chipotle-roasted chicken with sweet potatoes

“This is my simple, show-stopping recipe for blow-out weeknight meals and special dinners.” – Tom Hunt

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Mushroom, lentil and celeriac pie

“Celeriac mash is one of life’s small pleasures, ramping up an already comforting mashed potato with extra flavour, texture and savouriness.” – Tom Hunt

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Purple sprouting broccoli & spelt pasta

“The sauce is so rich in umami, it removes the need for any cheese or anchovies, keeping this dish affordable and low impact.” – Tom Hunt

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Dorset double apple cake

“I grew up in Dorset eating apple cake. This is my planet-friendly version, made with wholemeal spelt flour and twice the apple that you find in most recipes.” – Tom Hunt.

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Celeriac is harvested from October to February. Once you have cut off the gnarly roots from the base and the tougher area around the top, the rest of the skin is perfectly edible and should not be removed. Increase the cooking time to allow for the skin to soften.

Purple sprouting broccoli

A firm winter favourite of Tom’s, purple sprouting broccoli has elegant and tender florets that are packed with nutrition. Cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli) also contain a phytonutrient that boosts immune-function. If the base of the stems are a little tough, slice across the grain into thin disks before cooking.


Sweet, crisp, creamy-white and full of flavour, this majestic-looking veg is great if you’re practising no-waste cooking. Its leaves can be cooked like a leafy green; just finely chop thick stems across the grain, to keep them tender. Cauliflower is available all year but comes into its own during the winter.


Spuds are available all year simply because they store well. But they taste best in winter, when they are sweeter and full-flavoured. It’s the large potatoes that store best, so you’ll notice these more as the season continues. They’re great for mash, roasting and baking.


Beetroot has a long season and stores well, with regular and heritage varieties available from June to February. The deep magenta colour is an indication of its antioxidant-rich nutrient profile. If you can help it, don’t peel beetroot. Its skin is tender and you don’t want to waste it.

Bramley apples

Bramleys have a tangy flavour and soft texture when cooked; why not use them in a wintery crumble? The apples are harvested in September and October, but store well until spring. In the coldest months, seasonal eaters will mostly use stored, locally grown and preserved fruits. 

Need a guide to in-season fruit and veg? Download Tom’s ‘Eat the Seasons’ chart to your device, or simply print it off at home.

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