Faced with the onset of October, grey autumn days, and the start of term, autumn is well and truly here. Food Editor Jane Cowie shares her favourite seasonal produce and autumnal recipes with us to brighten up your cooking, and your day!
The summer is coming to an end and that means the end to the oh-so-popular strawberry and raspberry season. However, the autumn months boast a variety of versatile, delicious and nutritious produce, which (especially when they are at their best) should be a staple in your fridges for the autumnal months. Whether you want to get these at your local supermarket or your local greengrocers (my personal favourite) is completely up to you; but if you want to be kind to your bank balance (eating seasonably means you get more for your money) and kind to your body, this section will advise you on the best recipes to make with the fresh produce to make at the time of year they’re at their best.
Good this month
- Runner Beans
- Bramley Apples
This month’s best fruit and vegetables come out with: ripe, hearty aubergine and courgettes, the sweet red pepper and succulent blackberries.
Courgettes, Aubergine and Red Peppers may be considered together as they complement one another fantastically, working as core ingredients in Mediterranean cooking. I would recommend griddling or frying them, they are so versatile they can be made into vegetable crisps, the main attraction of a plate or even a fantastic pizza topping or pasta bake addition. Peppers are a staple in my fridge, I often find myself eating them raw dunked into a plentiful serving of hummus, but I also love roasting them with some garlic, olive oil and seasoning (throwing on a bit of paprika is always a recommendation of mine too).
Here are some recipes to try out with the seasonable produce:
Courgette, Aubergine and Red Pepper Pasta Bake
Every student loves a pasta bake. They are easy, filling and can be kept for leftovers and are cheap to make too. They tick all the boxes. Try this vegetable-themed bake next time you’re craving a deliciously satisfying pasta bake:
Serves 4: ready in 40 minutes.
- 225g uncooked pasta
- 1 vegetable stock cube (opt.)
- 2 courgettes, diced
- 2 aubergines, diced
- 2 red pepper, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 600g tomato passata
- 1 tbsp fresh basil (opt.)
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water, with the vegetable stock cube, and drain.
- Fry the courgettes, aubergine and red peppers with the onion and garlic for 4 minutes.
- Add the basil and passata. Stir the sauce until it gently simmers, then add the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to an ovenproof dish, and place in the oven for 30 mins. You may grate some cheese on the top if you’re a cheese fiend like myself.
Apple and Blackberry Crumble
Crumbles are such a comfort when the weather begins to worsen, and the woolly jumpers start to come out. It’s a real great British favourite- and you shouldn’t be deprived from having it just because you’re not in the comfort of your family home. This recipe, inspired by Deliciously Ella’s ‘Blackberry, Apple and Maple Crumble’ uses blackberries and Bramley apples which are both incredibly juicy and satisfying fruits at their best. This recipe is full of great healthy fats, antioxidants and plant-based protein sources.
- 180g (1 ½ cups) oats
- 200g ground almonds (either buy them ground of whizz them up yourself!)
- 100ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup
- 3 heaped tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tsp cinnamon (add nutmeg if you’re feeling adventurous)
- 6 Bramley apples (any will do but Bramley’s are best at this time of year!), peeled and cored.
- 400g (2 cups) blackberries
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Mix the ground almonds with oats in a large mixing bowl.
- Place coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat through until the coconut oil melts and the ingredients mix together nicely.
- Pour this mixture over the almond and oats and stir well, until the oat mixture is totally coated by the maple mixture. You can put this aside.
- Soften the apples in a saucepan, with a cm of boiling water just covering the bottom of the pan. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and leave for 10 minutes, until the apples have slightly softened.
- Transfer the apple mix and the blackberries onto the baking dish (baking the blackberries in this state means they hold better shape and don’t become too soggy), and cover the fruit layer with the topping.
- Bake for 30 mins, and enjoy!
Tried one of Jane’s recipes? Got some of your own? Let us know!