Real Time Seasonality Calendar

Real Time Seasonality | Chef Network and Keeling's Select

NOVEMBER 2019


Find out what's in Season!

Chef Network in partnership with Keeling's Select are working to give you updates every month on the latest and freshest fruit & veg coming into season so you can make the best of the seasonal produce on your menu.

Update your menu and utilise the ingredients that will give you the freshest flavour, inspire your team and delight your customers!


PARSNIPS

Hardy but Sweet

Parsnips are partial to the cold, the pale root vegetable needs a hard frost to develop it’s trademark sweet flavour.
They may look like the carrot’s paler cousin, but the parsnip has a history and flavour that allows it to stand alone.

Parsnips are almost ancient in origins, present in Europe long before the potato. Many classical writings have mentions of the parsnip within their texts, however, it was the Romans who cultivated the parsnip primarily. They soon discovered as they invaded more temperate, northerly climates that parsnips grew better in these areas. The parsnip soon became the vegetable of choice for ordinary people throughout medieval Europe, with high sugar content and easy to plant.

Now we eat parsnips as a winter vegetable, in stews like the Romans before us as well as roasted, puréed or even in soup. Parsnips are sweet and earthy with creamy white flesh. They’re incredibly versatile. Suited to dishes with spices, like nutmeg or they’re even delicious when curried. Their rich flavour is a welcome addition to many dishes, with their nutty undertone adding depth to casseroles and gratins. However, honey roasted parsnips, with a crisp, sticky outside and as a sweet creamy centre are hard to beat when preparing this November veggie. There is no longer any need for an in-season parsnip to play second fiddle to the other root veggies, they can be grilled, sautéed or even baked to make healthy fibre-rich crisps.

Parsnips are packed full of important micro-nutrients with just one serving of parsnip providing 25% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. The high number of anti-oxidants present in parsnips, make it an ideal addition to your diet to stave off that winter flu and boost your immune system. Not to mention parsnips are rich in fibre, making them an incredibly good source of carbohydrates and energy.


This month's Parsnips from Keeling's Select comes from Thornes in Lusk, Co. Dublin .

Parsnips - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's

LEEKS

The Poor Man’s Asparagus


Leeks despite their onion-like smell and taste are not actually a member of the onion family but are part of the ‘allium’ family instead meaning they’re more closely related to scallions, garlic and even shallots. Furthermore, these long veggies aren’t stalks either but instead just layered leaves of leek.

Leeks are the national emblem of Wales, associated closely with St. David, however, they don’t just stem from there. There is proof of leeks being cultivated in ancient Mesopotamia. Even Emperor Nero of the Roman Empire ate leeks in an effort to preserve his voice for public speaking. However, it didn’t become the national vegetable of Wales because of its effect on the voice, it’s due to the battle the Welsh won against The Saxons after they wore leeks on their helmets. Since then every St.David’s day the Welsh wear a leek to symbolise that victory.

Leeks are a tasty accompaniment to any meal, their mild and sweet flavour adds depth like an onion to most dishes. However, due to the vast difference in texture, you cannot replace an onion with a leek or vice versa. Leeks are incredibly versatile, even more so than scallions. They can be added to frittata or omelettes for brunch. Or they are wonderful braised alongside a creamy sauce or soup. Or if you allow the leeks time to cook down slowly, they become soft and sweet and shine in dishes featuring sharp cheeses, like a risotto with pecorino.

Leeks don’t just taste good, they’re full of important nutrients and minerals. As a leafy green, they provide plenty of Vitamin K and folic acid, important nutrients for the creation and maintenance of new cells in the body. Leeks are also natural anti-inflammatories. The anti-inflammatory compounds in leeks also help fight against the risk of stroke and heart disease.


This month's Leeks at Keeling's Select come from Paul Carroll in Lusk, Co Dublin.


Leeks - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's

WILD MUSHROOMS

Fabulous Fresh Fungi

Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms are not native to these shores. The Shiitake was first cultivated in East Asia with the first reports of these mushrooms being grown in the Southern Song Dynasty in Japan in the 13th century. Oyster mushrooms are native to shores surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, meaning their use in Middle Eastern, Balkan and Italian cuisine is unsurprising, however, in more recent times they are being cultivated in Asia. Chanterelles, morel, ceps and field mushrooms have all been foraged in Ireland for many centuries. The foraging of wild mushrooms in forests and woods in Ireland is common in rural areas and with farmers.

Shiitakes are known for being a large, meaty mushroom with a trademark buttery, umami flavour. It’s popular in Asian cuisine, with the flavours of soy, ginger and garlic allowing the depth of this meaty, earthy mushroom to shine. It is also a common ingredient in vegetarian dishes, as it’s a filling ingredient that also when dried can take on a unique, smoky flavour. Oyster mushrooms are renowned for their delicate texture in contrast to Shiitakes. They need minimal cooking, notably becoming incredibly velvety when just sautéed for a few minutes. Oysters are mild in flavour, with a faint anise aroma. The delicate nature of these mushrooms means that they can be delicious as a silky topping on crunchy toast, or stirred into a creamy and rich pasta sauce. Adding some wild porcinis and chanterelles to add a delicious earthy, savouriness to a pasta dish would be a very good idea.

Mushrooms provide important micronutrients, like Vitamin D2. They also contain statins, which help lower LDL cholesterol(the bad type). These chemicals are incredibly important in preventing heart disease and helping those already with high cholesterol and cardiovascular issues. Mushrooms are also a very good source of protein and a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.



This month's Wild Mushrooms from Keeling's Select comes from Gormans in Portarlington, Offaly.


Wild Mushrooms - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's



SEE WHAT WAS IN SEASON LAST MONTH

OCTOBER 2019

DECEMBER 2019

COMING SOON


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Keeling's Select

In Partnership with Keeling's SELECT


Keeling's Select are one of Ireland’s fastest-growing foodservice suppliers. Our philosophy is simple, to add value to every customer's business by supplying the best possible locally sourced produce, dairy and ambient goods. We always try to grow and source local produce. We know this is important to our customers. While farming is in our blood, service is in our nature.
Our Passion for achievement is evident in our teamwork, dedication to our customers and our integrity…. Because people matter. We are always growing, so come on the journey with us. Demanding kitchens rightly demand the best. No one knows how to select better than Keelings.