Bill Collison of Bill's Restaurant in Exeter share some recipes to keep the winter blues at bay

PUBLISHED: 10:08 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:39 20 February 2013

Orange, watercress and fennel salad

Orange, watercress and fennel salad

Keep fighting fit with Bill Collison's winter champions: ginger, pomegranates and oranges<br/>Recipes by Bill Collison and Sheridan McCoid

The hungry month's

Keep fighting fit with Bill Collisons winter champions: ginger, pomegranates and oranges

Recipes by Bill Collison and Sheridan McCoid Photos by Dan Jones

Bills restaurant opened in Exeter last year, bringing its reputable lively bustle and atmosphere to the town centre. The original Bills is in the town of Lewes in East Sussex, which started out as part caf, part greengrocery and made a speciality of selling and cooking with local and seasonal produce. By word of mouth, its popularity grew and the business is now expanding.

Bills ethos has always been to cook and eat with the seasons, some of which are easier than others - bountiful autumn and plentiful summer, for example. Spring can be testing as most of the produce is still in the ground! And winter presents another set of challenges. We never know what its going to throw our way, and it always lasts that bit longer than wed hoped, so we all have to dig deep and keep smiling.

And never more so than through the post-Christmas months, especially if you do like to shop seasonally. These are the hungry months and the time when canny cooks win the day, rustling up warming winter dishes from a little of this, a little of that and a creative scan of whats in the larder. This is the time for feisty raw vegetable salads, boosts of vitamins in the shape of citrus fruits, warming spices and colour to brighten up dismal days.

The following recipes are taken from the winter section of Cook Eat Smile, Bills the cook book. Each of them takes advantage of whats in season, and will bring flavour and colour to your midwinter cooking at home.

Orange, watercress and fennel salad

Serves 4

2 sticks of celery
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced
2 bunches of watercress, stems removed
1 large blood or navel orange, peeled and sliced in segments
50g soya beans (optional)
30g pine nuts, toasted

For the dressing
2 tbsp orange juice, 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt, 2 tbsp olive oil

1 Cook the soya beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
2 use a peeler to cut the celery in strips. Twist each strip round your finger and then place the curl in iced water until needed.
3 To make the dressing, whisk the orange juice, yoghurt and olive oil together in a small jug and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper .
4 Arrange the fennel slices and watercress leaves in a large shallow bowl. Follow with the orange segments and soya beans, if using. Drain the celery curls and sit them on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, scatter with the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

For more Bill's recipes visit:

Two winter tonics

Pomegranate ice cream

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