We’re just days away from the clocks turning back and us going into full hibernation mode. There’s only one thing that will get us through it: comfort food.
Sure, zesty salads and grilled snacks are great for summer barbecues and garden parties, but when it’s miserable outside, sometimes it’s best to grab a bowl, wrap up warm and enjoy some hearty soul food.
From baked meatballs and mascarpone to butternut squash risotto, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite warming winter recipes for you to enjoy in the comfort of your cosy home. Take a look and see which take your fancy!
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks (500g prepared weight)
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 x 140g packs red chicory, ends trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Pinch red chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
- 250g Gallo Risotto Carnaroli rice
- 175ml white wine
- 1 litre Cooks’ Ingredients fresh chicken or vegetable stock, heated
- 60g finely grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1/4 lemon, juice
1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Toss the squash with 1 tbsp oil and roast for 20 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan. Fry the onion for 5 minutes on a medium heat, until soft. Thinly slice the heads from 1 pack chicory. Add to the pan with the garlic and chilli; fry for 5 minutes and stir often. Stir in the rice; add the wine and stir until absorbed.
2. Add 2 ladles of hot stock to the pan and stir occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding 2 ladles until almost absorbed each time. Add the roasted squash with the last ladle of stock and stir until almost all the remaining liquid is absorbed. Season, stir in 1/2 the cheese and take off the heat to rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut the remaining red chicory heads lengthways into quarters. Put the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in a separate pan over a high heat and fry the chicory for 2-3 minutes until golden and slightly wilted. Squeeze over the lemon juice. Divide the risotto between plates, topping with the chicory, remaining cheese and extra chilli flakes.
- 1 essential Waitrose British pork belly joint (about 750g)
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 2 British apples, halved and cored
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 500ml Cooks’ Ingredients fresh chicken stock
- 150ml dry cider
- 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 200g pack cavolo nero, leaves stripped from stalks and roughly torn
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Pat the pork belly dry with kitchen towel and go over the scoring with a sharp knife making it a little deeper; season all over with fine salt. Put the garlic, apples, onions and rosemary in a roasting tin and sit the pork, skin-side up, on top. Roast for 1 hour 30 minutes.
2. Turn the oven up to 220°C, gas mark 7. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and spoon off any excess fat. Stir in the stock and cider, scraping up any sticky bits from the pan. Add the beans, then roast for another 30 minutes.
3. Lift out the pork and set aside to rest. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the beans and discard the skin, plus any apple skin and woody rosemary stalks. Stir the cavolo nero leaves into the beans and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Slice the pork belly and serve with the beans and a dollop of Dijon mustard, if liked.
- 1 cauliflower, base trimmed and tough core discarded (about 800g prepared weight)
- 20g unsalted butter
- 2 large echalion shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 200ml whole milk, plus extra for thinning
- 500ml fresh chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
For the cheese twirls:
- 220g frozen pizza dough, defrosted
- 50g Waitrose 1 Le Cret Gruyère AOP, grated
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Discard any large outer leaves from the cauliflower, but keep the smaller, tender ones. Cut the cauliflower into florets, then roughly slice. Heat the butter in a medium pan. Add most of the cauliflower (set aside a handful along with the tender leaves), the shallots, garlic and a good pinch of salt, turning in the butter. Cover, fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then uncover and cook for another 5 minutes until just taking on colour. Pour in the milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add the stock and simmer for another 5 minutes.
2. Toss the reserved leaves and sliced florets with the oil and arrange on a roasting tray. For the cheese twirls, roll out the defrosted pizza dough to roughly 25cm x 20cm. Scatter with the cheese, poppy seeds and rosemary, and roll up from one of the shorter ends. Cut into 12 pieces with a serrated knife, then arrange on a baking tray, pressing down slightly. Bake the cauliflower for 10 minutes and the twirls for 15 minutes.
3. Blend the soup with the lemon juice until smooth, adding more milk to loosen. Reheat the soup, ladle into bowls and scatter with the roasted cauliflower. Serve with the twirls.
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g pack reduced fat British beef meatballs
- 200g pack swiss chard
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 680g bottle Cirio Passata Rustica
- 2 oregano sprigs
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish, sauté pan or frying pan over a high heat. Add the meatballs, season and fry for 5 minutes until browned all over. Meanwhile, strip the chard leaves from the stalks.
2. Finely slice the chard stalks and add to the pan with the garlic; fry for a minute. Pour in the passata, add the oregano sprigs, then season (you may want to add a pinch of sugar too). Transfer the uncovered pan to the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the mascarpone. Tear the chard leaves into large strips and stir into the sauce. Return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes, then serve with couscous or pasta, if liked.
Recipes and photography courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes.