It’s no secret that summer is my favourite month and whilst the darker evenings and cooler weather do make me feel a bit sad, there is no denying that the silver lining is autumnal food. Berries, butternut squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and apples are among the highlights, plus from September it’s acceptable to turn all fruit into a crumble and smother it with hot custard which can only be a good thing.
So while I dig my wellies out of the cupboard and try and come to terms with cold, rainy dog walks, here are my favourite autumn foods. I’d love to hear what you look forward to eating at this time of year – let me know!
So versatile, so easy to find and a really lovely way to get kids involved in the kitchen – lots of our family walks end with a bit of blackberry picking before we spuddle home and turn them into whatever takes our fancy. Blackberries are staggeringly good with game but lately we have been making blackberry Friands – my current favourite recipe is here.
It’s probably the first thing that springs to mind when you think of autumnal food – and I couldn’t leave it off my list as game season is something I really do look forward to, however it deserves a post of it’s own so so it’s just a fleeting mention until the October blog.
Gorgeous stuff – roasted with chilli, a rich addition for stews and amazing with sage and bacon as a soup. I like it in a bundt cake with dark chocolate and clementines – Nigella’s recipe here is a good one, I usually add the chocolate chips and switch out the icing for a clementine glaze.
The stuff of childhood nightmares (especially if it was made with sausages – sorry mum!) but as an adult I love them. The more herbs the better and if it’s chicken then a huge dollop of dijon mustard always goes into the pot as well. I’ll be popping my own recipe on the blog soon so keep an eye out for it!
We eat leeks a lot – as a base for many dishes, baked in a cheese sauce with a roast dinner, with potatoes in a variation on the classic boulangere and lately we’ve been eating them poached with a pangrattato. Try it – they are absolutely delicious. Recipe here.
Proper winter fodder – root vegetables lend themselves brilliantly to soups, stews, roasts, and absolutely anything that needs to be slow-roasted. We usually have a veg box delivered during the winter months and I love having a good dig through the box to see what we’ll be making that week. Try the Riverford website for a plethora of great recipes for your veg box contents
The ultimate autumnal side-kick! Chestnuts add depth, texture and a really delicious earthy flavour to stews. They are also an amazing partner with chocolate, cherries or pears. Try this chocolate and chestnut torte from Delicious magazine here.
Apples are so commonplace that I think we all take them a little for granted, however they are a cheap and delicious fruit that goes with so many things – perfect roasted with pork and parsnips and my personal favourite – tarte tatin. Raymond Blanc’s recipe here is the best I’ve tried.
Mulled cider is a real autumn treat and as we’re in Devon there’s no excuse not to use locally produced cider! Gorgeous on bonfire night with sausages, baked potatoes and s’mores – this recipe from River Cottage is cracking.
There is a lot more about autumn food to love – pies, crumbles, custard and soups – what’s your favourite?