Autumn: seasonal picks
And suddenly, it’s September. The month that signals the start of autumn and all its seasonal changes. It’s a time for nourishing and warming recipes, but nothing too heavy. Think earthy beetroot and squash for soups and stews, or for something sweet, juicy blackberries and early apples in comforting tarts and crumbles.
Whether you’re savouring what’s left of summer, or welcoming in autumn, you’ll be inspired by the plentiful seasonal ingredients to enjoy. Our top picks and recipe ideas are below.
Blackberries – These ‘glossy purple jewels’ have an affinity with apples. Add them to pies, crumbles and streusels – add almonds for extra ‘mmm’. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, try tossing in a salad with rocket leaves, walnuts and baked goat’s cheese.
Butternut squash – Butternut is one of the sweetest squash, so it works well in dishes with a touch of sour or saltiness. It also takes well to woody herbs. Concoct a thai-spiced soup laced with fish sauce, or roast and stuff your squash with a mixture of rice, feta, veg and thyme.
Watercress – This refreshing little leaf provides a between-season lift to a good old roast chicken. It also pairs perfectly with egg and stilton, why not combine them in a frittata?
Braeburn apples – Crispy and crunchy, braeburns also hit that spot between sweet and tart. This variety holds their shape during cooking, so use them for streusel or tarte tatins.
Bramley apples – Puckeringly sour raw, but honeyed clouds when baked. A bramley apple sauce is an easy one to make and goes beautifully with rich roast meats.
Red potatoes – There are hundreds of potato varieties, but only a few are grown in the UK – these red ‘rooster’ potatoes are one. They sit right in the middle of being floury and waxy, so they’re ideal for both mash and roasting (with lots of garlic and herbs).
Beetroot –This vegetable marries wonderfully with dill, horseradish, oily fish and rye bread. You could even combine them all in an open scandi-style sandwich.
Plums – Bake juicy plums and use the rich compote to top your porridge, toast or yogurt. Cheese lovers will enjoy a smidge with a hunk of cheese, or combined with ricotta to elevate morning pancakes.
Pears – Delicate pears couple happily with almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. Slice, chop and crush them together in a luscious salad, or use them in a light sponge cake flavoured with warm spices and vanilla. If you’re in the mood for something savoury, peel and cut under-ripe pears to make a killer pickle.
Kale – Lift kale leaves with green lentils and preserved lemon, or tame it into a raw salad – simply massage with lemon juice and olive oil. For the ultimate comfort dish, wilt this hearty leafy green through crumbled sausage pasta.