October is here and so are chillier Autumn temperatures. As the nights draw in, it’s time to switch from salads and summer fruits and hunker down with some delicious meals that celebrate the absolute best of the Autumn harvest.
Make the most of Autumn’s bounty with a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables that reflect the season’s vibrant colours and rich flavours with our pick of Autumnal recipes.
Seasonal pumpkin recipes
The versatile pumpkin is the jewel of the Autumn harvest, but there is so much more that you can do with it than scoop it out and carve it for Halloween.
Try a British twist on a classic Italian dish with this Pumpkin Risotto, which is easy to prepare and fun for the children to get involved with too. Use creamy risotto rice and a generous pinch of cumin powder to complete this warming and filling supper.
For the perfect vegan dinner party dish, look no further than this Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas recipe. The dish can be spiced up to suit your tastes and served with pilau rice and a chunk of easy to make vegan naan bread.
If you prefer a sweet pumpkin dish, nothing beats a classic pumpkin pie and this version, served up with stem ginger cream, brings out some truly seasonal flavours and aromas. We can’t pretend it is calorie-free – at 499 calories per serving it is definitely best saved as a weekend treat or decadent dessert for a special occasion!
Stews and hotpots
The beauty of a stew or hotpot is that it only uses one dish, and it can be thrown in the slow cooker in the morning, ready to dish up after a hard day at work – with minimal effort and hardly any washing up to do afterwards!
This glorious beef stew is made using the cheaper cuts of meat, slow-cooked until tender in a rich red wine and bacon sauce. Add in onions and chunks of seasonal butternut squash and you have the perfect midweek simple supper.
For a wholesome one-pot veggie dish, try this Celeriac Casserole, which celebrates the earthy taste of Autumn. It’s an extremely healthy ingredient, high in fibre, rich in vitamins and minerals and offers a low carb alternative to potatoes. Top with melt-in-the-mouth dumplings for a nutritious, delicious meal.
If you’re watching your weight, you may think that hearty stews are off the menu, but this Slimming World Style Pork Casserole is SYN free and very tasty. The key is to use lean pork medallions, with all of the fat removed, and switch vegetable oil for the low-calorie spray oil. The dish contains only 2g of saturated fat and just 197 calories.
Root vegetables are at their best in the Autumn, and when combined with juicy chicken thighs in a creamy mustard sauce you’ve got a simple dish for a warming weekend lunch. For a more substantial supper – add a dollop of buttery mustard-seed mash and enjoy a family meal together.
Brilliant beetroot recipes
The earthy flavour of beetroot brings with it the vibrant colours of the season, and this versatile veggie can be used in so many dishes – even brownies!
This Beetroot Latke recipe allows the purple root vegetable to be the star of the show – and provides a whopping three of your five-a-day in one sitting.
When shopping for beetroots, choose ones with their stems and leaves still attached – and use these in a similar way to chard for a simple side salad to serve with your Beetroot Latkes.
For an indulgent weekend brunch, try Beetroot, Whipped Feta and Poached Eggs on Toast. This Middle Eastern style dish includes dukkah, a nut and spice blend from Egypt, served as a condiment with the sourdough toast, creamy feta and earthy beets.
Perfect plum dishes
Plums are at their best in early Autumn, and if you are lucky enough to have a plum tree in your garden, you should leave plums to ripen on the tree before harvesting and creating some delicious dishes that highlight the humble plum!
Treat the family to a seasonal Sunday lunch of Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder with Plums and Roses. By slow-cooking the lamb on a bed of sliced plums and rose petals, the meat will be, juicy, fragrant and slide from the bone easily.
Plums also pair extremely well with pork, as this Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Balsamic Plum Sauce will testify. It’s an ideal supper that only contains six ingredients, needs minimal preparation and has a real wow factor when served too.
To intensify the flavour of British plums, they can be cooked with spices such as cinnamon, star anise or cloves and served as a simple dessert with a choice of ice cream or custard. Stewed plums also make a great topping for a bowl of rice pudding.
Make the most of marrows
The marrow is often seen as an ‘old-fashioned’ vegetable and overlooked in favour of its smaller, trendier sibling, the courgette. Autumn is a great time to rediscover the marrow as it is as it’s best during October and can be roasted, stuffed, or used in chutneys.
For a budget-friendly and healthy family meal, this Stuffed Marrow Bake combines a variety of veggies and turkey mince baked into hollowed-out marrow slices. Use the scooped-out marrow flesh to make a fruity Marrow Chutney with spicy ginger, shallots and apples.
If you’ve harvested a glut of marrows, they can be transformed into a moist, moreish teacake, which freezes very well too. Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche and a cup of Earl Grey for the perfect afternoon tea treat on a chilly Autumn day.