A Christmas Veg Medley – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I am a keen gardener with a big veg plot, and my sister grows her own food too. She is a vegetarian and we both love cooking, so when we get together with the family for a roast (like we do at Christmas!) we inevitably end up in the kitchen putting together a huge medley of home-grown vegetables. They are always a real winner, and friends and family often ask how we cook them.

The answer, we say, is to mix it up a bit – too often we see a big bowl of broccoli or a mound of steamed carrots on the table, and to be honest, it’s just a bit boring to eat vegetables like that. It’s more fun to throw a few different flavours and textures together.

This is the perfect list of ingredients for a veg medley:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3-4 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 types of leafy greens (kale, spinach, and chard work really well)
  • 1 handful green beans or peas
  • Broccoli florets (as many as you like)
  • Half tsp fennel seeds (and any other herbs/spices you fancy)
  • 1 tbsp toasted nuts (flaked almonds are perfect)
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Handful of fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or mint)


Stir fry the broccoli and beans in a wok for 2-3 minutes (you want to keep them quite crunchy) then remove from the heat.

In a separate pan, gently sautee the garlic, onions and leeks with the fennel seeds. Once they are quite soft, add the leafy greens and cooked broccoli, beans and peas. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir in until the leaves just begin to wilt (try not to overcook them as they’ll shrink a lot and won’t be nearly as tasty). Add the nuts and cranberries and season with salt and pepper. At the last minute, throw in a handful of chopped fresh herbs.