Lancaster House general manager and Food & Wine lover Tim Bell, tells us why this Autumn should taste extra special this year.
Horticulturaly speaking, it’s been a pretty good year so far. The spring was mild and relatively frost-free, the summer heralded some great periods of warm, unbroken sunshine, and here now, as the leaves slowly turn into their annual shade of gold, we’ve enjoyed a sublime autumn. The net result of this continual run of fine weather is an autumnal harvest of un-paralleled quality for the Great British Crop.
So, what should we be looking out for on our home-grown Supermarket shelves this month, and what are some of the best dishes to celebrate the depth of flavours in this year’s offerings?
Wild Mushrooms are a personal favourite of mine, and offer an un-rivalled taste over the comparatively bland and cosmetically perfect “round white” mushrooms we prefer to buy. Sure, their cheaper, but if you can push the pennies a little further, go for a different type, something maybe a little darker and dare I say it – “Exotic”. As well as flavour, you’re also getting a great source of Potassium, Fibre and believe it or not, Protein. So you can easily ditch your meat in favour of the fungus and make the mushroom your “main event”.
Serving suggestion: Wild Mushroom Risotto
Try making a simple Risotto with some wild mushrooms, adding just a small handful of petit pois just before the end to give a tasty, filling dish.
Serving suggestion: Wild Mushroom cous cous
Alternatively, frying some wild mushrooms up with a little knob of butter and some garlic will go perfectly with some savoury cous cous & caramelised shallots.
You’ll find plenty of simple Wild Mushroom recipes from all the most respected Chefs online.
The root-vegetable crop should be a bumper one this year, instead of the usual suspects, how about trying some of the other tasty veg which sadly doesn’t command the same shelf-volumes as the “popular” choices.
Serving suggestion: Sauté Salsify
Salsify, which is a root-veg belonging to the Dandelion family never looks the most appealing of choices when sat alongside the noble carrot and parsnip. But underneath that skin is a white, creamy flesh that oozes flavour. They can be boiled and mashed like any root veg, but try cutting into 1-inch long batons and sautéing in butter for a few minutes. They’ll go well as an original and delicious side-dish to any red or white meat.
Serving suggestion: Pan-fried Kale
Kale often gets overlooked and is hugely under-rated for its taste potential. After blanching in water for 3-4 minutes, try pan-frying some in a hot wok for about another 4 minutes with just a little garlic, olive oil and seasoning. Amazing! It’ll also go well mixed in with your favourite long-pasta dish such as tagliatelle or spaghetti.
Serving suggestion: Roasted Celeriac
My final suggestion to you is the sublimely diverse and increasingly popular Celeriac. A ridiculously easy way to enjoy this vegetable is to cut it into wedges, and place in a bowl. Drizzle over some Sunflower oil and season generously. Place the wedges into an ovenproof dish which has been smeared with butter, and then drizzle over some Marsala, Sherry or White Port. Don’t drown them, but just enough to add the flavour of the wine. Roast at 180 degrees until brown, taking care that they don’t stick to the dish. A great side dish for most fish and white meat.
Lancaster House Foodworks restaurant
Be bold and brave this autumn and try something new. At Lancaster House Foodworks restaurant each dish is prepared with care and imagination using the very best fruits of autumn, be sure to check out our new menu and ever changing specials board where head chef Damien Ng incorporates local, in season produce to tickle your taste buds.
- See the dinner menu
- Book a table: 01524 844 822
- Written by: Tim Bell, General Manger of Lancaster House