Kale, pumpkins, cabbage – cook with the season
As the days get cooler and the nights longer, we turn in the kitchen to the first of the season’s warming braises and comforting one pot suppers. And the autumn harvest brings a good time for fresh, colourful vegetables.
Pumpkins and Squash
The first of the season’s pumpkins and squash are arriving now. Try them puréed with a knob of butter or oven-roasted with rosemary and olive oil to make the perfect mash. Great with game.
An expensive treat – no wonder we chefs love them! Sauté lightly with chopped shallots and fresh parsley to accompany game and poultry. Add to beef casseroles like my boeuf bourguignon or try in my opulent wild mushroom risotto.
Leafy, dark green vegetables like kale are super-healthy and full of iron. Kale’s water content isn’t as high as other greens (such as spinach) so it requires a longer cooking time. Serve soft, not ‘al dente’, perhaps with roast cod or salmon.
You can’t beat fresh corn on the cob. It leaves the ubiquitous frozen and canned variety standing. Corn on the cob makes a great starter and is a tasty way to get one of your five-a-day. Kids also love these and they make the perfect quick Halloween feast.
The mistake people often make with cabbage is to overcook it. Finely shredded savoy or hispi cabbage, steamed or boiled for about four minutes, is nothing like ‘school dinner’ cabbage in either taste or smell. A roast isn’t a roast without it. Try my recipe for savoy cabbage with bacon, carrots and celeriac or my delicious bacon, lentil and cabbage soup.