Visiting your local farmers' market is such a great Winter weekend activity. I went along to the small farmers' market in Parnell recently, and sampled some baking and some nut butter, bought some flowers, tried beetroot kombucha, had a delicious cheese and gherkin toasted sandwich, and got my vegetables for the week.

Markets are great because they usually have on offer only what is fresh and good, keeping things super seasonal. Winter can be a bit gloomy for vegetables and salads, but I try to keep things interesting with plenty of fresh herbs, and adding nuts and seeds and dressing for flavour.

I'm always looking for new ways to make eating vegetables a bit more interesting and these recipes were inspired by my market finds. Brussels sprouts are nearing the end of their season, but they've been my favourite this year. When roasted they take on an almost nutty flavour, and they pair perfectly with mint. Roasted root vegetables are always good, but a tangy dressing like this one will liven up you new roast and is a nice alternative to gravy.

Roasted root veges with tangy dressing

This is a flexible recipe, you can use whatever root vegetables you wish.

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2 x kumara
200g yams
2 parsnip
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp runny honey

Cut the vegetables into chunks and lay out on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and honey. Toss to combine, then roast at 190C for about 40 minutes, tossing them part way through.

For the dressing:
1 Tbsp mustard (dijon or wholegrain)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified. Taste and adjust as necessary.

To assemble:
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp capers
Fresh herbs of your choice

When ready to assemble, place the vegetables in a bowl, drizzle over the dressing, and toss with the capers and the red onion. Lay out on a serving dish and garnish with the herbs.

Roasted greens with mint and lemon

Roasted green with mint and lemon. Photo / Doug Sherring
Roasted green with mint and lemon. Photo / Doug Sherring

This is a flexible recipe, which works for whatever seasonal greens you feel like.

200g brussels sprouts
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
2 cups salad leaves (baby spinach or baby kale work well)
Small bunch fresh mint leaves
¼ cup chopped or sliced almonds

Dressing
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Small bunch mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Cut the brussels sprouts in half and lay on a roasting tray with the broccoli. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over sea salt and squeeze over the lemon juice, and grate over the lemon zest. Gently toss, then roast in a 200C oven for about 20 minutes, until slightly crisp.

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small jug until emulsified. Taste and adjust as necessary.

To assemble, add the roasted greens, salad leaves, mint leaves, and almonds into a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with additional lemon zest and mint if you wish.

Note: to turn this dish into more of a meal, add one 330g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed.