"It is the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn." – B. C. Forbes
Inspired by the abundance of autumn veg and the Riverford Organic cook book, here are a few seasonal recipes that have been a big hit in the past few weeks
Spiced Courgette & Sweetcorn Fritters with Chili Yoghurt & Avocado Salsa
Serves 4 -6
For the Fritters
3 courgettes (480g), grated
A pinch of salt
2 large free range eggs , beaten
4 spring onions , thinly sliced
165 g sweetcorn , canned is fine
120 g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Coconut oil for cooking
For the Chili Yoghurt
150 ml plain natural probiotic yogurt
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
For the Avocado Salsa
250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ripe avocado, chopped
A large handful of coriander leaves
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a small lime
Pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
Lime wedges to serve
To make 12 fritters
Grate the courgettes into a large sieve add a good pinch of sea salt and mix with your hands.
Place the sieve over a large bowl, leave for at least 10 minutes, this will drain some of the water from the courgettes.
Meanwhile make the tomato and avocado salsa by combining the sliced avocado with the chopped tomatoes in a small serving bowl, add the lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and coriander and mix gently, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Squeeze out any excess water from the grated courgette, then add the courgette, sweetcorn, and spring onions to a large mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg and stir well. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and spices then add the salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat a little oil in a large non stick pan, add one heaped dessert spoon of the batter at a time to the pan.
Cook the fritters for about 3 to 4 minutes each side until golden brown and cooked through. Place them in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
When all the fritters are cooked place them on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
Stir the chilli flakes into the yoghurt, spread a good amount over each fritter and layer with a heaped tablespoon of salsa. Serve with a lime wedge and some additional coriander.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
For the Butternut Squash Sauce
2 kg / 4.5 lbs. butternut squash
3-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt to taste
For the Celeriac “sheets”
600g / 1.3 lbs celeriac
For the Bean “Béchamel” Sauce
2 heaping cups butter beans (or any white bean)
Nutmeg, grated to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
A pinch salt if needed
¼ – ½ cup water
To make enough for 6-8 people
Cut the butternuts in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
Rub with a little coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and roast in a 400°F / 200°C oven until soft, about 40-60 minutes (cooking time depends on the size of the squash).
Remove from oven to cool.
Meanwhile prepare the celeriac sheets by peeling the celeriac with a knife.
Cut the celeriac into a brick shape, and then slice the root horizontally into very thin sheets (you will need a sharp knife for this!)
Braise sheets in simmering vegetable broth for 3-5 minutes depending on their thickness. Cook just until al dente – not mushy. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
Scoop out flesh from the butternut squash and place in a food processor with the garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste.
Drain and rinse the beans and place in a food processor along with the nutmeg, lemon juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Add water with the motor running until a creamy sauce results, to the consistency that you like. Make as smooth as possible. Add more nutmeg/seasoning to taste.
In a 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25cm) casserole dish, layer the following:
butternut squash sauce
baby spinach leaves
This recipe makes enough for two full rounds of the above, finishing with the bean béchamel sauce. I sprinkled parmesan on top with some cracked black pepper, but it could also be nice with dried chilli flakes, rosemary or sage.
Bake at 200°C until warmed through. Serve immediately.
5 Spice Plum Crumble with Golden Turmeric Yoghurt
For the Crumble
100 g butter or coconut oil
1½ cups ground almonds
50 g flaked almonds (or use another 50 g ground almonds)
1½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 pinch of sea salt
1½ tbsp of pure maple syrup
For the Plums
8 ripe plums, halved, stone removed
2 tbsp of pure maple syrup
2 tsp five-spice powder
“There is a time in the last few days of summer when the ripeness of autumn fills the air“ – Rudolfo Anaya
For the Golden Turmeric Yoghurt
300g coconut yoghurt
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
A few grinds of black pepper
1–2 tsp raw honey
To make enough for 6 people
Pre-heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Combine all the crumble ingredients, except the flaked almonds, in a bowl using your hands or a fork, until they are a crumbly consistency. Gently mix in the flaked almonds once combined.
Chill the crumble mixture while you cook the apples (this makes for a crisper topping).
Toast the five-spice powder in a dry saucepan, over a medium high heat for about 30 seconds or until fragrant (the spices can burn easily so stir continuously).
Place the plum halves, skin side down, in the base of a large heatproof dish with 1 tablespoon of water and the toasted spice. Drizzle over the maple syrup and roast for 10 mins until softened.
Crumble the topping mixture evenly over the plums (there’s no need to press it down) and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.
Mix together the yoghurt, spices and honey, till well combined and golden in colour.
Serve the crumble hot out the oven with a generous amount of golden turmeric yoghurt.