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Eat the Seasons - October 2015


Fruits, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, blackberries, chestnuts, elderberries, figs, grapes, pears, quince, tomatoes, walnuts. Lots of lovely mushrooms; chanterelles, chestnuts, horse mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, parasol mushrooms, puffballs, giant shaggy ink caps and summer truffles
Vegetables & Herbs
Beetroot, borlotti beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, courgettes, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins & squash, rocket, salsify, scorzonera, spinach, turnips
Meat & Game
Duck, wild goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Cod, crab, eels, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, prawns, scallops, sea bass, sprats, squid, brown and rainbow trout

Going out of season
Aubergine, beetroot, butternut squash, chicory, cobnut, damsons, elderberries, fennel, fig, globe artichoke, lamb, mackerel, pear, plums, radish, raspberry, rocket, sweetcorn, watercress

You know Summer is over when you find yourself dreaming of a good hearty winter dish instead of a Summer Salad!  Nothing beats pottering around my kitchen, or curling up with a good cook book whilst enjoying the aroma of a gently bubbling casserole or a Sunday roast.  This months recipe combines two of the best seasonal foods – squash and mushrooms into a delicious caramelised accompaniment to your Sunday roast!

Although we are approaching the end of the main growing season, even now some fruit and vegetables will be at their best – look out for figs, apples and quince growing locally.  Mushroom & beetroot will also be fantastic, not to mention pumpkins of course.

Don’t forget that if you carve a pumpkin for Halloween there are loads of easy ways to use  the flesh including soups, casseroles or as part of a roasted vegetable dish.  The seeds can also be roasted with a little olive oil and salt to make a really tasty snack.  If you find a recipe you love then look out for Pumpkins on special offer after 31st October – you can pick up some real bargains, and they will keep in a cool dry place for at least 6-8 weeks, or if easier you can cook and freeze the flesh for use later.

Roast Pumpkin and Mushrooms with Thyme

A fantastic seasonal recipe combining caramelised squash and chunky mushrooms

Serves 8 with the Sunday Roast


Ingredients

  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) pumpkin or squash
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic syrup (Filippo Berio is my favourite)

  • 8 sprigs thyme

  • 700g (1lb 9oz) chestnut mushrooms

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 2000C/4000F/Gas 6.
  2. Cut the pumpkin (peeled if you wish) into wedges, about 3cm (1¼in) thick at the thickest part, and remove the seeds.
  3. Put the wedges in a roasting-tin in which they can lie in a single layer with space around them. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic, season and add two-thirds of the thyme, tearing it with your hands.
  4. Clean the mushrooms with kitchen paper and slice in half. Put these into another roasting-tin in a single layer and add the rest of the oil, balsamic and thyme. Season. Toss everything around. Make sure there is space around the mushrooms so they don’t sweat.
  5. Roast the pumpkin for about 45 minutes, or until tender and a little caramelised.
  6. Roast the mushrooms for about 35 minutes, until dark and roasted and any juices have evaporated. When ready, gently toss them together and serve immediately in a warm dish.