The best of the season

The best of the season

After such a gloriously long and hot summer we’re starting to see the subtle changes signalling the imminent arrival of Autumn. The leaves on the trees have yet to turn but there is an early morning chill in the air, the light is low in the afternoon and our appetites are changing. Autumn is definitely on its way. For one of our founders, Nick, this is one of the best times of year and here he tells us why.

“During this time of year apples, pears, plums and figs take over from the stone fruits, like apricots and peaches, and can be used in so many ways. We love to grill our figs with a little butter and honey (and a splash of brandy or red wine if the mood grabs you) and serve with crème fraiche and toasted chopped pistachios for a decadent dessert. The noble apple is endlessly versatile with countless uses in sweet and savoury dishes. Slice into salads, blend into smoothies, poach with agave and cinnamon for a breakfast compote or whip up a quick spicy chutney to sit in your larder.

As well as delicious fruits coming into season, pumpkins are beginning to appear in our local green grocer. Their versatile flesh is just shouting out to be sliced into wedges, lightly spiced and roasted in the oven until soft. Once cooked, remove the skins and add the delicious orange pulp to soups, risottos or hearty salads like our Pearl Barley, Squash and Sweet Corn Salad with it’s simple and straightforward recipe. We are still waiting for the first frost when root vegetables truly start to sing with sweetness and flavour so until then black kale, hispi and savoy cabbages should not be over looked. Steam the kale, rub quarters of hispi with olive oil and salt before roasting, then serve with a scoop of potted shrimps for a perfect starter. If you haven’t tried making your own ferment (we’ve heard it’s all the rage) then now’s your chance using savoy and white cabbage to maybe a super easy sour kraut. This recipe from BBC Good Food is one of our favourites -

If meat is your thing, then look for Game at your butcher’s counter. Wild Game can hold a wonderful flavour if cooked properly and these strong meats marry well with seasonal fruits like plums, quince and pears. The cuts are often good value and take very little time in the oven or on the hob, your butcher will even be able guide you on cooking the meat. If you can find foraged or wild mushrooms out at the farmer’s markets serve these with your dish as the earthy flavours are perfect bed fellows with the wonder flavours of rabbit, pheasant, guinea fowl or partridge.”

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