August fooled me into Autumnal behaviours and so my thoughts and heart indulgently leapt ahead and I am eagerly waiting for walks in blazing coloured woodland and crisp, misty mornings. Inevitably, my kitchen has made a sharp turn towards warming, comforting dishes to enjoy in front of the fire. This year, I’ll be hunkering down in the kitchen, experimenting with the new season's produce, but I will also be cocooned in a haze of newborn life as we welcome our first baby into the world (so, thankfully, while creating and testing many of these recipes, I made big batches and froze portions for busy days). I will be looking towards my mealtimes as beacons of familiarity and calm in a world that will be changing day by day and so comfort is clearly at the heart of these autumn dishes.
My monkfish curry and simple chicken stew are perfect sofa food, pyjamas on, something mindless on the TV and the dark evenings. And if blackberry picking is on your agenda for a weekend afternoon, then my buckwheat pancakes are a happy lazy brunch to enjoy while pottering, radio on and a steaming mug of tea in hand. If you’re more of a savoury breakfast person then my green twist on the traditional Shakshuka is another favourite that I’ll be tucking into, eeking out the end of the abundant growing season for UK green veg. Pizza is another love of mine so I had to create a great gluten free one to tuck into on a rainy evening – ideal to eat alone or shared with lots of loved ones (if you don’t need to avoid gluten then just use regular flour).
And for something a little bit more celebratory and impressive, the oyster season is just coming into its own now. I’ve suggested three ways to serve them and definitely encourage a glass of something cold and fizzy on the side along with some fantastic bread, olive oil and a pile of salad. One of the most sustainable protein sources available to us, I am a keen champion of both the environmental and nutritional qualities of oysters. Do take a look at www.theoysterlady.co.uk/ for a quick 101 if you’re interested.
I do hope you enjoy this little selection of autumn inspired dishes. Please do send in your piccies if you make them, as I love to see how my recipes translate onto your own plates.
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Photo credit: Emma Godwin