Gone is the abundance of autumn in our gardens though this year we’ve had an extended growing season especially for tomatoes as well as a good crop of beans. But the persistently sunny days have insured that all our winter lettuces have done well.

It’s such a pleasure for our chefs to wander through the gardens and pick full, compact-headed Treviso, radicchio, sugar loaf and ice queen lettuces and then take them back to the kitchen to prepare the menu.

Winter also means that we all crave heartier dishes and our menu reflects the need for comfort food. The recipe  featured  in Bells at Killcare newsletter this season is for pork cheek and mushrooms. The mushrooms are braised in white wine and the pork cheeks thinly sliced and pan fried in olive oil. My preference is to serve the dish on steaming hot polenta, my wintertime favourite accompaniment.

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Stefano Manfredi

Photos:  Manfredi at Bells cooking school class