7 recipes to cook in February

7 recipes to cook in February

by Great British Chefs 30 January 2019

The weather is dreary, but hope is near – spring is just around the corner, and February gives us some hope of good things to come, with exotic fruits, the first of the year’s fish and delicious Pyrenean lamb.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Winter is, by all accounts, starting to get a bit boring now. We’ve navigated our way through the toughest month of the year, only to be greeted by the frosty handshake of February, and another barrage of root vegetables.

Still, it’s not all that bad. The temperature is warming up a little, which means we get a few early treats before spring arrives in all its splendour next month. Exotic fruits arrive on our shores from far away – persimmons, pineapples and passion fruits are all fantastic in February. There will still be a few blood oranges doing the rounds in the first couple of weeks as well, alongside regular oranges and clementines. All that makes February a great month for desserts, as well as more interesting sweet and savoury combinations.

Brassicas really come into their own this month too, particularly the likes of broccoli, cauliflower and Savoy cabbage. While they may bring up unpleasant sulphurous school dinner memories for some of us, it doesn’t have to be that way – just check out our recipe collections to see the best way to cook these vegetables and give them the attention they deserve.

February is also the first month when we can start thinking about good quality fish again. Although farmed sea bass is pretty consistent year-round, February is the perfect time to be looking for wild line-caught sea bass, which has a beautiful delicate flavour. Wild sea bass certainly isn’t the cheapest option out there, but it makes a stunning dinner party showpiece, and you can make a whole sea bass go a long way if you’re willing to put in the work – you can take off fillets, cure the tails and make stock with the bones!

Salmon and sea trout also start to become consistently available this month – they should both be avoided over the winter to preserve their sustainability, but from February through to August they’re fair game. For some of the best recipes to cook during February which make the most of the month's produce, read on.

Celeriac purée with spiced cauliflower and quail’s eggs

Born out of an idea to create a hummus that doesn’t use chickpeas, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully came up with this celeriac and cauliflower dish that invokes all the Middle Eastern flavours you expect, but using British root vegetables. The star of this dish is undoubtedly that cauliflower mix, which uses almonds, preserved lemon, parsley and paprika to highlight the warmth of the caramelised cauliflower. Ths makes a fantastic starter, brunch or lunch platter.

Chou farci – stuffed cabbage

A classic French treatment for a whole Savoy cabbage, Pascal Aussignac’s chou farci might just change your mind on this seasonal brassica. The key is in the cooking of the cabbage itself. Pascal blanches it in salted water for ten minutes – long enough to soften without turning the cabbage to mush. He then removes the heart and fills the cabbage with a stuffing of egg, sausage meat, shredded cabbage and leftover beef, before braising in beef stock.

Confit milk-fed lamb shoulder with mild spices

Lamb in February? It’s a bit early, we know, but in restaurant circles February is the month for Pyrenean milk-fed lamb – an incredible delicacy that arrives in small quantities from Spain each year. Most of it ends up in restaurants, but if you have a specialist butcher available to you, you might be able to get hold of some – or you can order it online. Xavier Boyer’s confit lamb shoulder recipe is the perfect way to make the most of this delicacy – just swap out the summer veg for something more seasonal.

Sea bass with cauliflower textures and polonaise sauce

Marcus Wareing’s exceptional dish is a true celebration of February, making the most of delicious sea bass as well as championing the humble cauliflower. Marcus breaks the brassica down into four distinct textures – steamed florets, raw shavings, a cauliflower purée and cauliflower couscous, which he roasts in butter. Garnished with a polonaise sauce (boiled eggs chopped up with capers, parsley and shallots), this is a masterclass in making the most of a single ingredient.

Sea bass a la talla

A dish made famous at Contramar in Mexico City, Nud Dudhia’s interpretation of sea bass a la talla makes an impressive dinner party dish. Nud cooks his butterflied sea bass in a pan to crisp up the skin, then brushes it liberally with two sauces – a salsa roja which is rich and earthy with blackened tomato and chilli, and a salsa verde full of breezy acidity and freshness.

Pineapple tarte Tatin with coconut and lemongrass ice cream

What better way to make the most of pineapples than a Tatin? Fresh pineapple is lovely, but when you start caramelising those sugars to a deep, rich brown, the fruit transforms into something incredible. Shaun Rankin’s individual pineapple Tatins are a thing of beauty, from the golden caramel crust to the layers of puff pastry. He cooks his pineapple ring in the pan with a dry caramel and a splash of Malibu, before covering with a puff pastry topping and baking until golden. It’s really that simple.

Passion fruit tart, lemon curd sauce and hazelnut praline