Celebrate late autumn produce with Miriam's tips on what to buy, cook and eat in November. Discover recipes using seasonal fruit and veg, plus a list of foodie events.
November is the time to make the most of autumnal ingredients, but also a time to start planning and preparing for the festive season. Where clementines and cranberries might be the fruits we normally want to cook or bake with at this time of year, it’s actually a good time to eat pears; and as much as we love a roast potato, we’re slap-bang in the middle of the parsnip season, so they’ll be at their sweetest and tastiest – perfect for roasting or adding to soups and stews.
So, let’s all don our loudest festive jumpers and head down to the fruit and veg aisle without delay!
Vegetables in season in November
It’s a staple on Christmas Day, but as its season is coming to an end, why not make more of it in late autumn. It lends itself well to slow cooking, but it’s also good raw in winter salads. Look for firm, shiny cabbages that feel heavy for their size. Red cabbage keeps well when wrapped and chilled.
Try the quick red cabbage relish from this curried tofu wraps recipe. It’s really simple and ideal to bulk out an impromptu buffet.
Pickled red cabbage is such an underrated ingredient – it's cheap and you can enjoy it all year round. Try it as an accompaniment to a katsu curry, in burgers, or as part of a sushi salad bowl.
Find other red cabbage ideas.
Using parsnip instead of potato in mash makes it a little less stodgy and adds a more complex flavour. Plus, you can eat this dish one-handed with a fork, making it perfect for a night full of Christmas card writing and present wrapping. Parsnip mash is the perfect accompaniment in this comforting sweet red pepper & pork meatballs recipe.
Parsnips – due to their natural sweetness – work well in cakes, particularly with coconut, like this honey, parsnip & coconut cake.
Find more parsnip recipes.
We’re just at the end of the girolle season, but they’re too good not to mention. If you can get your hands on the last of this year’s wild Scottish girolles (also known as chanterelles), try to make the most of them before they’re gone. Don’t be tempted to pick them yourself unless you’re guided by a mushroom foraging expert.
Don’t worry if you can’t find girolles; this is still great with other mushrooms, which are cultivated in the UK pretty much all year round. Adding a touch of Marmite helps that umami flavour shine through, as we've done in this wild mushrooms on toast recipe. Clean them gently with a pastry brush to remove any dirt. Try to avoid washing them as this can make them soggy.
Check out our mushroom recipe collection.
See our recipes and information for other vegetables in season:
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Salsify & scorzonera
Fruit in season in November
In a year where the summer is unsually hot, I worry that pear crops might be adversely affected, but according to Kent fruit farmers Perry Court Farm, it's quite the opposite. ‘No frost damage in the spring means a good crop, a wet spring helps the initial growth, and a heatwave is good to bring them up to ripeness.’ That means it’s a good year for British pears.
Like apples, different varieties will be at their best at different times in the season. In November, Perry Court Farm recommends looking for Doyenne du Comice, Concorde and Conference pears.
Pears are wonderful in drinks, too. For example, our zingy pear & rose punch makes a fabulous party mocktail.
This sweet, sharp and herby pickled pear salad will complement your choice of cheeses while cutting through the richness.
Get more inspiration with our pear recipe collection.
See our recipes for other fruit in season:
Seasonal food events in November 2018
BBC Good Food Show Winter: Learn new skills from our team on 29 November - 2 December at the NEC Birmingham. Find out more on the event page.
Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre: 7- 9 December. Find more information about our Historic Royal Palaces food festivals.
Stir-up Sunday: Browse our selection of Stir-up Sunday recipes to make on 25 November.
Christmas markets: Find the best festive events happening near you.
See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.
Check out more seasonal recipes...
What are your favourite ingredients to cook with in November? Leave a comment below...