Fab February Recipes


Ah February, the month of love, and what better way to celebrate the love between you and your beloved than by cooking up a romantic meal for two!

It’s probably best you get a bit of practice in beforehand so why not try out these two fabulous recipes, all of which feature ingredients in season during the month of February.


Vegetable Shepard’s Pie

For the filling
1 tbsp oil
1 leek, trimmed, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
150g/5½oz chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin green or Puy lentils, drained
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
200ml/7fl oz red wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping
2 sweet potatoes (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), peeled and cut into 2cm/¾in chunks
2 floury potatoes (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), peeled and cut into 2cm/¾in chunks
½ small cauliflower, leaves and root removed, separated into florets
knob of unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely grated parmesan (optional)


  • For the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the carrots, mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the sage, thyme, tinned lentils, tinned tomatoes, stock and red wine and stir together until well combined. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until it is simmering and continue to simmer for 18-20 minutes while you make the topping.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6.
  • For the topping, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (there’s no need to add salt). Add the sweet potato and potato and boil for 10-12 minutes. Add the cauliflower and boil for a further 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Drain the vegetables well and return them to the pan. Add the butter, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then mash until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Stir the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, chilli flakes (if using) and sugar (if using) into the filling mixture, which should have thickened during cooking. Continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture is too dry (simmer for longer if the mixture is too watery). Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Transfer the filling mixture to an ovenproof baking dish, then spoon over the topping and spread into an even layer. If you like a crispy topping, create peaks in the mash using a fork. Sprinkle over the parmesan, if using.
  • Bake the shepherd’s pie in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

Stuffed Trout and Purple Sprouting Broccoli

50g/2oz hazelnuts
50g/2oz almonds
50g/2oz pine nuts
8 canned anchovy fillets in oil, drained
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers in brine, drained
2 free-range eggs, beaten
50g/2oz grissini (Italian breadsticks), crushed
handful fresh mint, finely chopped
75g/3oz parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 lemon, zest only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole trout, each about 450g/16oz, scaled, gutted, gills removed
110g/4oz butter

For the purple sprouting broccoli
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g/10½oz purple sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
12 cloves garlic (or to taste), finely sliced
1 lemon, juice only


  • Place the hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, anchovies, garlic and capers into a food processor and blend.
  • Transfer the nut mixture to a bowl. Add the eggs, crushed grissini, mint, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well to create a paste. If it appears a little wet, add some more crushed grissini.
  • Place the trout on a chopping board and stuff the cavities with the paste.
  • Tie each trout in three places with raffia or kitchen string to wrap the fish closed around the stuffing.
  • Heat the butter in a large frying pan big enough to fit all four trout; alternatively divide the butter between two frying pans.
  • When the butter has melted, add the fish and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the purple sprouting broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a frying pan until hot and add the olive oil and garlic, stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the drained broccoli. Stir-fry for one minute, then add the lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • To serve, place each trout onto a serving plate and place equal amounts of the broccoli alongside.

The above recipes come courtesy of BBC Food.

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