Wartime Recipes 1942


Vegetables are valuable foods because they are a rich source of natural mineral salts and vitamins. Many of them should be ea ten raw for the greatestadvantage to health, but cooking is used to soften those with tough fibres, and in some cases to increase their palatability, and also to give variety to the meals.

Even the best cooking does not improve the mineral salts or vitamins, and wrong cooking does a great deal of damage to them.

Cooking with soda destroys the vitamin-C content, and since the mineral salts are soluble, boiling in water dissolves out a great many of them, leaving behind just softened cellulose with greatly reduced mineral content, a thoroughly undesirable dish. Vegetables should be steamed, or cooked in parchment paper, or conservatively cooked.

When cooked in these ways, salt is not added, and the vegetables do not have quite the bright green appearance they have when cooked with soda.

To overcome the novice's objection to these things, conservatively-cooked vegetables are often preferred if served with a light sauce and decorated with parsley. Green as well as root vegetables can be served in this way. The sauce should be made with milk and vegetable broth, thereby enhancing the mineral-salt content of the dish. It is not necessary to give details for cooking each separate vegetable, and so a few typical examples only are given.

Now that wartime food restrictions have had the beneficial effect of making everyone eat more vegetables, it is more important than ever that they should be wisely and attractively cooked and served. Less usual ways of cooking should be tried, and experiments made with mixtures of vegetables.

Vegetables should have only the minimum of cooking. For variety, when nearly done, mix them with a cheese sauce, put into a baking tin and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and brown.

Conservative Cooking

All vegetables can be conservatively cooked in a saucepan or in the oven, in much the same way, but green vegetables and root vegetables need slightly different treatment.Cabbage is given as an example of green vegetables and carrots as an example of root vegetables.

47. Cabbage Cooked Conservatively in the Oven

  • 1 cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable stock
  • ½oz margarine

Prepare cabbage as in No. 48. Thickly grease a casserole dish, put in cabbage and stock, tuck greaseproof paper over, put on lid and cook gently in a moderate oven until tender (about ½-¾ hour), watching carefully to see it does not burn, adding a little more stock if necessary.

48. Cabbage Cooked Conservatively in a Saucepan

  • 1 good cabbage
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable stock
  • ½oz margarine

Wash the cabbage, remove outer leaves, and cut away the coarsest stalks. Quarter the cabbage, and shred finely, cutting both across and along. A little practice soon makes this easy. Melt margarine in pan, added shredded cabbage to which a certain amount of moisture clings, and stir and shake over gentle heat for three—five minutes. Add stock, cover closely and cook gently until tender, about 15-20 minutes longer, stirring at intervals to prevent burning.

There should be practically no stock left when done. Any that there is should be used for sauce.Suitable also for broccoli, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, leeks, nettle, savoy, spinach (no stock needed), spring greens, turnip tops.

49. Broad Beans

  • 2lb broad beans
  • ½oz margarine

Shell the beans. Steam until tender; if old, the beans may be skinned after steaming. Then put with melted margarine in a saucepan and toss over the heat for a minute or two.

50. Cabbage (Dutch)

  • 1lb cabbage
  • ½lb onions
  • 1lb apples
  • 1 dessertspoon margarine

Cut up finely the raw cabbage and raw unpeeled apples, add raw chopped onions. Cook with very little water in a closely-covered saucepan, stirring frequently. Cook for 1-1½ hours over slow heat. When half done, add one dessertspoon margarine.

51. Cabbage in Milk

  • 1 medium-sized cabbage
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½oz margarine

Wash cabbage and cut up finely. Put into pan with margarine. Add milk. Cover and simmer very gently until tender. Pour off fluid, thicken with a little wholewheat flour and flavour with lemon juice substitute or ¼ teaspoon Yeastrel, and pour over hot cabbage.

52. Cabbage Rings

  • 1 firm white cabbage
  • Beetroot sauce
  • 1 small cooked beetroot
  • ½ cup stock
  • 1 sprig mint
Wash cabbage and cut in thickish slices. Simmer in stock until tender, and do not allow to get too soft. Remove from stock, put on to hot fireproof dish. Place one slice of cooked beetroot on each piece of cabbage. Serve with beetroot sauce, and garnish with mint.

53. Carrots Cooked Conservatively in a Saucepan

  • 1lb carrots
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½oz margarine

Scrub carrots thoroughly, cutting out any bad parts and cutting out all grub holes to the very end. Cut off the very tip and see if there are any suspicious holes there. Cut carrots up into small pieces (about 1 inch). Melt fat in saucepan, add carrots, and shake over gentle heat. The water left on the carrots and their own juices, combined with the fat, form a steam. Stir and cook for three—five minutes. Add stock, cover closely and cook gently for about half an hour, stirring and shaking occasionally to prevent burning. There should be no stock left when done. Any that there is should be used for sauce (No. 237).
Suitable also for artichokes (rubbing skin off with salt before cooking) celery, kohlrabi, leeks, marrow (no stock necessary), onions, parsnips, salsify, seakale, swedes.

54. Carrots Cooked Conservatively in Oven

  • 1lb carrots
  • ½ a cup vegetable stock
  • ½oz margarine

Prepare carrots as in No.53. Put in greased casserole, add stock, cover with greaseproof paper, put on lid and cook gently in a moderate oven until tender (about one hour), watching to see they do not burn. Add a little more stock if necessary.

55. Creamed Vegetables

Practically all vegetables can be served "creamed." The cooked vegetables, skinned if necessary, like beetroot, and chopped up small, should be stirred into a plain sauce made of vegetable stock and milk and flour and margarine; or else sieved before being mixed with sauce. As a change and for variety, the sauce can be flavoured with Yeastrel or finely-chopped parsley.

Examples for carrots are given (Nos. 56 and 57). Suitable also for artichokes, aubergines, beetroot, broad and runner beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, cauliflower, celery (keeping some heart for salads), kale kohlrabi, leeks, marrows, nettles, onions, parsnips, peas, salsify, savoy, seakale, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, Swedes, turnips, turnip tops.

56. Creamed Carrots (1)

  • 1lb carrots
  • 1 dessertspoon minced parsley
  • ½ pint plain sauce

Scrub carrots, cut up small and steam until tender. Stir into hot sauce, place in a hot dish and sprinkle with minced parsley.

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½oz cooking fat
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½oz wholewheat flour

Melt the fat, stir in flour and cook gently, add milk and stock and boil for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add vegetables.

57. Creamed Carrots (2)

  • 1lb carrots
  • ½ gill plain sauce [4 to a pint]

Steam carrots, rub through a sieve and combine with sauce.Decorate with tiny squares of crisp toast and sprigs of parsley.

58. Carroy Savoury

  • 1½lb carrots (fairly young)
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheese

Scrub carrots and prepare them in the usual way, then slice lengthways and steam. Just before serving, sprinkle with the grated cheese and place under the grill for a few moments.

59. Carrots and Tomatoes

  • 6 medium-sized carrots
  • Parsley
  • 6 medium-sized tomatoes
  • ½ oz cooking fat
  • Mint

Chop tomatoes and carrots and mince a few sprigs of parsley, and a sprig of mint. Cook tomatoes and carrots gently in cooking fat for 20 minutes, or until tender, and sprinkle in the minced parsley and mint.

60. Celery (Baked)

  • 1 large head of celery
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • Cooking fat
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Wash the celery well. Put into a long well-greased fireproof dish without cutting if possible. Add stock and sprinkle with herbs and breadcrumbs and dot with fat. Cover and bake in moderate oven until tender, about an hour.

61. Colcannon

  • 2 cups mashed potato
  • 1 large chopped cooked onion or 2 leeks chopped
  • 1 cup curly greens (cooked)
  • ½oz margarine

Mix potatoes, greens and onion and margarine well together, put in a flat baking tin and bake until nicely browned.
Turnip tops, kale, spring greens, cabbage, savoy or spinach are all good as a variety or to use up left over vegetables. Beetroot, tomatoes or artichokes are also good.

62. Cucumbers (Baked)

  • 6 pickling cucumbers
  • ½ pint thick sauce
  • Brown breadcrumbs
  • A little Parmesan cheese

Steam and peel the cucumbers. Put in a fireproof dish and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Dot with margarine and brown in the oven.

63. Leeks and Tomatoes

  • 1 large bundle of leeks
  • 1oz margarine or Nutter
  • ½lb tomatoes

Wash leeks well and cut up into short lengths. Cut tomatoes in quarters. Put them with leeks into previously melted margarine. Cover and simmer for half to three-quarters of an hour, or bake in a moderate oven.

64. Marrow in Casserole

  • 1 marrow
  • ½oz margarine

Wash marrow and remove seeds and stalk, but if young do not peel. Cut up into small cubes (about one inch), place in thickly-greased casserole, add one tablespoon vegetable stock. Dot with margarine, cover with grease-proof paper and then the cover of the dish and bake gently until tender (about half to three-quarters of an hour).

65. Marrow Marvel

  • 1 vegetable marrow
  • 1oz cooking fat
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • Parsley

Partly steam marrow, drain it well and allow it to get cold. Cut it into strips, toss these in cooking fat with some onion rings previously fried, frying gently until both are a golden brown. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, as hot as possible.

66. The Common Nettle

Put on a pair of stout leather gloves, and with a pair of large scissors cut off the tops of all the young nettles you can see. Wash them thoroughly with water and put in a saucepan with closely-fitting lid and 1oz margarine and cook gently until tender. Drain, chop up, add salt and paprika and serve with croutons of wholewheat toast.

67. Onions (Baked)

  • 2lb large onions
  • Cooking fat

Cut base off onions and remove outer covering. Rub over with cooking fat and place in a casserole, cover closely and bake in a moderate oven until tender (about 1-1½ hours).

68. Parsnips (Baked)

  • 1½ lb. parsnips
  • Browned breadcrumbs
  • Cooking fat

Scrub parsnips very thoroughly. If preferred, peel thinly. If large, cut up. Rub over with cooking fat, roll in crumbs, place in a well-greased baking dish, cover and bake until tender, loosening from tin occasionally if necessary. (time about one hour). Remove cover and brown before serving.

69. PEAS

  • 2lb peas
  • 1 lettuce heart
  • ½oz cooking fat
  • 2 tablespoons stock or water(Stock made from pea pods is especially good)
  • Sprig of mint
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar

Cut lettuce in half. Wash and drain well. Put it into casserole with cooking fat, sugar, stock and shelled peas Cover and simmer for half to three-quarters of an hour. Serve either in casserole or on hot dish with chopped lettuce around as garnish.

70. Peas and Carrots

  • 2lb peas
  • ½oz cooking fat
  • 1 bunch of young carrots
  • Sprig of mint
  • 1 or 2 lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup of stock
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar

Melt the cooking fat in a pan. Add lettuce leaves and two tablespoons of stock and the sugar and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Cut carrots into small pieces. Put shelled peas with carrots into simmering mixture. Stir for a few minutes. Add stock and simmer gently for minutes or until tender. Remove lettuce leaves before serving.

71. Savoy — Italian Way

  • 1 small Savoy
  • Horseradish sauce (No. 234)

Wash and remove hard stalks from the savoy. Shred finely. Put into casserole with very little water. Cook until most of the water has evaporated. Serve on hot dish with horseradish sauce.

72. Spinach (Creamed)

  • 2lb. spinach (or perpetual spinach beet)
  • ½oz nut fat
  • 1 tablespoon wholewheat flour
  • Milk

Pick over spinach and wash thoroughly. If spinach or beet is used, the thick stalks and mid-rib are best removed. They can be cooked separately.
Put 1oz nut fat in bottom of pan, put spinach on top (add no water), tuck greaseproof paper closely down on top, put on lid and cook gently until tender, stirring occasionally (10-15 minutes).

Melt 1oz nut fat, stir in one tablespoon wholewheat flour and cook gently, then add stock from spinach, and boil up, gently stirring all the time. If there is not enough stock, a little milk should be added. Stir chopped spinach into sauce and serve on a hot dish immediately.

73. Spinach and Oatmeal

  • 2lb spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Quick Quaker Oats
  • ½oz cooking fat

Prepare spinach as in No. 72 and chop up. Put fat in bottom of saucepan, then add spinach, sprinkling the oatmeal through it. Cover closely and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring or shaking at intervals.

74. Swedes (Savoury)

  • 1 or 2 medium-sized swedes
  • 1oz cooking fat
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 gill stock (4 TO A PINT)
  • 1 dessertspoon breadcrumbs

Peel, wash and either shred or grate the swedes. Melt fat in large shallow pan, add grated swedes and stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in herbs and breadcrumbs, stir well and cook until swede is tender. Serve hot.

75. Tomatoes (Baked)

  • 1lb tomatoes
  • Grated nutmeg
  • ½oz margarine
  • Browned breadcrumbs

Choose tomatoes as near of a size as possible. Halve and put into greased and crumbed fireproof dish. Grate nutmeg on top of each and cover with more crumbs. Dot with margarine. Bake in moderate oven for about 15 minutes.

76. Vegetables (Steamed)

To steam vegetables, wash and prepare them, cut into pieces as required, place in steamer, cover tightly and cook until tender. Allow about three-quarters of an hour for cut root vegetables; half an hour for cabbage or Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. Whole roots, such as beetroot, should be given at least 1½ hours according to size. Potatoes about three-quarters of an hour according to age and size.

The best steamer to use is one where the condensed steam can be collected and used for sauce and does not run back into the bulk of water. This condensed steam contains juices from the vegetables and should be used to make whatever sauce is served with the vegetables.

Root vegetables may be steamed (or conservatively cooked) and well mashed with margarine and a little mint or parsley.

For small children or invalids, vegetables can be rubbed through a sieve, and reheated with a little plain sauce.