Autumn’s here in full force. It’s time to bring out the field mushrooms, squashes and sweet corn.
Here are some simple recipes incorporating fresh seasonal produce.
A combination of cold air and moisture encourages the growth of mushrooms from spores nurtured in the summer. These delicate and delicious fungi can be cooked in many ways: you can roast, stir-fry, grill, bread, sauté, braise or sear them. Fresh, well-cleaned and thinly cut raw mushrooms are great additions to salads and sandwiches.
Mushroom celery salad can be a quick-fix snack or you can toss it into a main dish. Mix two teaspoons each of lemon juice and olive oil. Toss in thinly sliced white mushrooms, celery, salt and pepper. Enjoy as is or add to buttered noodles.
Sauté ceps (porcini) mushrooms with some butter, garlic and shallots. When they turn golden brown, throw in some prosciutto and top up with a bit of parsley. Serve with toast or bread.
Heat oven to 200C, arrange mushrooms of your choice on the roasting tray and cook for fifteen minutes. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to finely chopped rosemary leaves and garlic cloves. Drain the liquid from the mushrooms, add the seasoning and cook for another fifteen minutes till the mushrooms become tender. Sprinkle parsley on top before serving.
There is a huge variety of squashes in different sizes and colours. Butternut, buttercup and spaghetti squash are some of the many edible squashes rich in vitamins, beta carotenes, anti-oxidants and minerals. Keep warm with wholesome squash and garlic soup that you can tuck in with some bread for lunch or dinner. It’s a straight-forward recipe; just double check if you have the ingredients before including it in your meal plan for the day.
Peel and dice one large butternut squash. Keep one litre of chicken or vegetable stock and 150ml of double cream ready. To 60g of butter, add three medium onions and six crushed garlic cloves. Cook on medium heat until the onions soften. Add the squash and stock, and bring to a boil. When the squash turns soft, remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture to a liquidiser to get a smooth paste. Add the cream and liquidise some more. Season with salt and pepper.
This is an interesting one from Jamie Oliver. Cut a butternut squash into quarters. Rub a dash of olive oil and a seasoning of salt, pepper, chilli and coriander powder on the squash. Preheat the oven to 190C and roast the quarters until they turn soft (about 30 minutes should do). Add slices of parma ham to the serving plate. Tear up the quarters and lay them around the ham. Top with rocket, olive oil, salt and pepper. Dust with parmesan or a cheese of your choice.
Sweet corn is a rich source of dietary fibre, vitamins and ferulic acid, which helps prevent inflammation. It is an excellent choice for a crackling side-dish, or you can make a light lunch out of it.
Game for some sweet corn bruschetta? Remove kernels off the ears of corn. Mix the kernels, one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Add in a quarter cup of basil leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brush a few slices of baguette with olive oil on both sides. Broil the slices until they turn golden brown. Top them with the corn mixture and serve hot.
If you’re having fried chicken on a Sunday, add some zing to your experience with sweet corn coleslaw. To a bowl, add half a cup each of shredded purple and green cabbage, two grated carrots, one chopped onion and 500g of tinned sweet corn. In a different bowl, mix one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of ground cumin, juice from a small lime and 185ml of mayonnaise. Top it over the mixture of sweet corn and veggies and mix gently. Add salt and pepper as per taste and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
Do you have an autumn recipe to share?