Posted on: 16 September 2019
Try out these ingredients during the start of the colder months
Certain ingredients are known as seasonal because of the times of the year when they grow best locally, but also because of a certain flavour associated with that time of year. We have looked at the different kinds of ingredients that you could start to incorporate into your recipes for autumn and have spoken to an expert Chef who has shared with us his top autumn recipes.
What to use this autumn
Butternut Squash and pumpkin
As members of the same species, the butternut squash and pumpkin have a similar flavour, appearance and both start to come into season around summer, just in time to be harvested for autumn. Coffee shop chain, Starbucks is a well-known user of pumpkin during the autumn season with their Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Butternut squash has also become popular as an autumn ingredient because of its close resemblance to the pumpkin. Experiment with popular recipes such as Butternut squash soup or roast squash
Pumpkins are also associated with Halloween so make sure you stock up on pumpkins that you could either use for ingredients or event decorations.
As an ingredient in the Pumpkin Spice Latte, cinnamon is well associated with the build-up to Christmas. The spice has a distinct taste and is likely to bring autumnal warmth to your recipes that your customers will recognise.
Cinnamon is an easy ingredient to find all year round but will give your recipes that something special during the autumn months.
You could use cinnamon for desserts such as pancakes or flapjacks and in main meals with meat or sweet potatoes.
Whilst you’ll find some fruits in the supermarkets all year round, some fruits taste better and may be more cost-effective to purchase when they are in season. Autumn is a great time to use fruits in your recipes, with plums, blackberries, apples, rhubarb and pears in season during the autumn months. Autumn is a great time of year to buy from your suppliers, or if you’re adventurous enough, head out to pick your own!
You will have the chance to make some delicious fruit pies that you could put on your menu as a special dessert or snack or experiment with crumbles, make jams and preserves or even start to make your own fruit juices.
Autumn is the time of year when people start looking for warmer foods and dropping salads for something more warming throughout the colder months such as soups or stews.
Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips can all be used to create dishes that will offer your customers some warming comfort throughout the colder months. They can form the base of the recipe, like in a vegetable soup, or used to pack out dishes such as a beef stew, to help fill your customers up.
Beetroot grows best from mid-spring to mid-summer, meaning that autumn can be a great time to introduce beetroot into your recipes. Using beetroot in your recipes adds colour as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Beetroot soup is a warming recipe dish that can introduce plenty of iron into your diet, whereas a beetroot salad can offer your customers a lighter option.
Insight from the expert
We got in touch with Lakeside Hotel & Spa Executive Head Chef, Richard Booth, who let us know his experiences with using seasonal ingredients.
“Buying in-season produce is something we at the hotel take very seriously. For example, we will only buy English asparagus, and this does limit us to using this product to only a few months of the year, but think of this; Asparagus from South American countries not only costs more and has a weak flavour profile but the carbon footprint is 28 times more than English asparagus.
The food we eat is being transported further than ever before, and this is having a detrimental effect on our environment, such as global warming, as well as other problems with our food, such as loss of freshness, loss of flavour, paying more for less, loss of food security, food culture and food knowledge.
As we move from Summer to Autumn, nature brings us a wonderful new bounty. These are my picks of what is best this time of year: apples, beetroots, broccoli, cauliflowers, pears, parsnips, plums, kale, leeks, damsons, runner beans, sweetcorn, watercress, wild mushrooms.”
Richard Booth, Executive Head Chef at Lakeside Hotel & Spa
Recipes from Richard
Richard was also generous enough to provide some recipes that use seasonal ingredients. Take a look at some of the options that you have for using seasonal produce this autumn.
Caramelised Apple Puree
- 5 x green apples
- 30g butter
- 150ml Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar
- 150g Dark Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Citric Acid or Malic Acid
In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pan, add the knob of butter, then the chopped and peeled apples. When soft, add the vinegar and sugar and reduce by 2/3 until a think consistency. When reduced pour into a blender and puree until smooth, and finish with a pinch of citric acid. My top tip is that this goes great with scallops, pork or even a dessert.
- 5 large beetroots
- 1 jar of horseradish
- 1 tub of English crème fraiche 250g
- 50ml sherry vinegar
- 1 packet of coriander
Boil the beetroots until soft, and when cooled, peel and slice into large segments. In a frying pan, high heat, pan fry the beetroot in a little oil for a couple of minutes, then add a knob of butter and place in the oven at 200C. Mix 2 teaspoons of horseradish to your crème fraiche, then chop the coriander.
After about 15 minutes in the oven, there should be a slight char look to the beetroot. Drain off the excess butter and oil. Place the beetroot back onto the heat and deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar season to taste. Place in a bowl and when ready to serve scoops of crème fraiche and finish with chopped coriander. My tip would be to give yourself plenty of time for this recipe, as boiling the beetroot until soft can take a few hours.
- 4 parsnips
- 1 clove of garlic sliced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- ½ tsp butter
Peel the parsnips and boil whole until soft, then drain and leave to dry out. Sweat off the garlic in butter for 1 minute, add the spices and cook out for another minute. Add parsnips to the spice mix, blend, then pass through a drum sieve. Fold through chopped coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper, then place in the piping bag. When the mixture is cold, pipe onto trays and cut with a knife to approximately 7cm long, the breadcrumb them.
We slightly freeze ours as this keeps the shape better when bread-crumbing. Then cook in a deep fat fryer at 180C until golden and pop into the oven for a minute or two after.
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