It’s very easy to grab our favourite comfort foods at this time of year as the weather starts to change but we need to also keep eating something thats going to be good for us. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to be having soups and stews but we still require something light.
This Autumnal warm salad will boost that vitamin c needed. It is super easy and looks great and colourful. You can also put some squashes in there including using up Pumpkin if you like, which is perfect for this time of year.
Those earthy flavours just burst out into this salad pairing perfectly with the honey, fennel and goats cheese. This mixture could even go onto a puff pastry tart or a great pizza topping.
This recipe is for my regular cooking slot on BBC Radio Leicester. Ady Dayman filled in for Ben Jackson who I usually do the show with. I have to admit though, I have felt shocking over the past couple of days. I have been really ill, even as I write this so the recording isn’t usually as thorough as it normally is. I do apologise! However I could’nt let my listeners down and plodded on through as I enjoy doing the show much. More reason why I did this dish really so I could try and boost my immune system!
Click here to hear the recording.
Roast Autumnal salad of beetroot, carrots, goats cheese, honey and fennel:
- Roughly 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil.
- A good handful of fresh beetroot 3-4 good size peeled and chopped into chunks ready for roasting.
- 3 good size carrots peeled and sliced into chunks for roasting also.
- 2 red onions chopped into chunks.
- Sprinkle of salt and cracked black pepper to season.
- 1 tbsp honey ( I used local Leicestershire honey )
- a good sprig of lemon thyme, thyme and oregano ( If you can’t get lemon thyme, use a little lemon in there )
At the end of roasting add :
- Handful of fennel fronds/tops chopped loosely
- chopped chives
- 2 handfuls of your choice of greens for the salad. I used mizuna in mine, but you can use any peppery salad such as rocket, watercress or even Spinach.
- 100-150 grams of goats cheese crumbled
- Any oil and honey left in the roasting dish. Use to drizzle over the salad.
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Par boil carrots for 5 minutes, just to soften them slightly.
- Roast Beetroot for 10- 15 minutes in Rapeseed oil
- Then add in your carrots and roast for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Then pop in your Red onion and herbs. At this point add more oil if needed and coat all vegetables in honey.
- Place back into the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked. I like to have my beetroot still having a little bite as it tastes more earthy.
- Once out of the oven , add fennel and chives to the mixture. Sprinkle in the goats cheese.
- Place on top of your leaves or toss together. Add any oil and honey from the roasting tin and more goats cheese if you wish.
An Autumnal risotto that is a lovely alternative recipe for when you want to do something a little more sophisticated but yet its still a great frugal “fridge raid” recipe.
Risottos are a great way of using up what veg you need to. Plus with this dish you are using up any Pumpkin you may still have lying around as many just get thrown away or not bought at all throughout their season. Many just used for decoration.
You can even get the children involved in helping squeezing out all the orange coloured flesh.
Use the Seeds by roasting them in the oven as a tasty snack and if you have any Risotto leftover, make Arancini the next day.
Leeks and Kale are also in season at this time of year so if you like to cook along with them like me, this is the perfect dish for you.
I did this recipe first for BBC Radio Leicester on my regular cooking slot for Ben Jackson’s show. However this time, Ed Stagg was filling in for him. You can hear me showing Ed here how to make it.
It was so popular, I decided to then do it for my weekly column.
Pumpkin risotto with pearl barley, leeks and bacon topped with crispy kale:
1-2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
2-3 handfuls of Carnaroli risotto rice
a good splash of dry white wine
a handful of pearl barley cooked in a little chicken stock
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 medium sized onion diced finely
1/4 leek sliced
1/4 small farmed pumpkin peeled and diced. Plus use some of the flesh inside to squeeze out the orange juice. ( I bought mine from a local Farm called Cattow’s Farm)
800ml homemade chicken stock or 1 gel pot chicken stock to 800ml water, can use veg stock if keeping vegetarian
2 rashers of smoked bacon sliced
Few gratings of parmesan cheese ( parmigiano reggiano )
handful of unsalted butter cold and diced
cracked black pepper to season
A few handfuls of Curly kale
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
sprinkle of sea salt to season and sugar
* Cook off pearl barley to packet instructions.
* Sweat off chopped onion in a pan and cook until starting to go translucent
* Add garlic, stir and then pop in your rice. Stir but not too much.Then de glaze your pan with wine.Cook until starting to reduce.
* Add in hot Chicken stock then ladle by ladle for about 10 minutes, not allowing to stick, but not string too much as this will make the rice glutinous
* pop in your Kale in the oven on 200c or 190 fan for 5 minutes.
* Add in your chopped pumpkin to the risotto and cook for further 5 minutes, then add your leek and cook for a further 3 minutes.
* Fry off your bacon in a separate pan till it goes crispy on the edges
* Then add in your cooked pearl barley and stir only a little. Here you can squeeze the inside bright coloured flesh into the risotto to make an orange colour
* Add your butter to the risotto, plus a little parmesan and cracked black pepper, turn the heat off and cover with a lid.
* Serve in large bowls, top with the bacon, then kale and a snow of parmesan.
This oven-roasted meal really is incredibly easy to make. Not to mention how inexpensive it is also.
After a long day the last thing you need is to be slaving over the oven or even waiting a long time for something to cook. Plus, now that Autumn is making more of an appearance and becoming darker in the evenings this is the perfect comfort, pick me up food and with a little cheekiness from the cider I’ve popped in there.
Ive used apples in this recipe as it just adds an extra burst of sweetness against the sausages and sage in there. Plus lots of people are giving them away due to bumper crops this year.
If you have a family get-together coming up or you just want to do a Sunday lunch thats a little easier, this is a perfect choice for that. Leftovers can be chopped up and put into a spicy tomato pasta bake.
With the lovely colours it gives off, it truly is Autumn in one dish really.
Sausage, vegetable and apple traybake:
– 1-2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- 6 British sausages ( I used a Pork and chive variety)
- 2 red onions sliced into wedges
- 2 garlic cloves crushed and roughly chopped
- 1 chicken stock cube crumbled over or half a gel pot
- 1-2 parsnips roughly diced
- 1 red pepper roughly diced
- 1 orange pepper or yellow diced roughly
- 2 apples, something like a British cox
- 2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped into inch size chunks
- a good sprig of thyme
- a few fresh sage leaves
- 200ml Apple cider
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 190c. In a frying pan, brown off the sausages.
- Coat all vegetables in oil, ( not the peppers or apples yet )and pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes coat the vegetables with the honey and mustard, add the peppers, thyme, garlic, stock and seasoning.
- Place the sausages in between the veg and pour into your frying pan the cider to get all the sticky juice from the sausages.then pour that into your traybake.
* Pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes. After that put your apples and sage in-between the sausages and veg and pop back into the oven for approximately another 15 minutes or when all golden and cooked.
I couldn’t help diving in with a knife and fork before even serving it up, it was THAT nice!