I was talking to someone from the Americas the other day who said he pitied me for living in a country with such poor ingredients. I was delighted to enlighten him about our amazing native fruit and veg, not only in summer, but in winter, too. Celeriac is just one example: it has all the nutty flavour of celery with the natural sweetness that comes from a root vegetable. It is wonderful braised in milk, much as the Italians cook pork, which highlights that sweetness; it’s a delicious partner to baked gammon, sausages or a simple fried flat fish. I also adore leeks, which have some of the characteristics that make onions so tasty but are just a little more robust and savoury: they make a great building block for fried rice, particularly when seasoned with good pancetta.