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Food

In season: what to cook and eat in September

by Abigail Spooner
In season: what to cook and eat in September
Image: Martin Poole

As summer turns to autumn, September’s harvest marks the beginning of heartier seasonal fruit and veg that can be added to salads on warmer days and turned into comfort food as the weather cools. Read on for our pick of this month’s unmissable produce

Plums

Crimson-skinned plums have a soft, juicy flesh and are at their best in early autumn. Enjoy them as they are or roast in the oven to intensify their flavour. This versatile stone fruit also works wonders in cakes and desserts or bottled into jams and chutneys. Plums pair particularly well with citrus, ginger, vanilla, almonds and duck.

Image: Maja Smend
Image: Maja Smend

Try it

Plum and Stilton tart

Bake plums into this rich and creamy Stilton tart for a delicious weekend lunch or dinner-party starter. 

Celeriac

This underrated, knobbly root vegetable has had a resurgence over the past few years, popping up on restaurant menus all over the country. It has a distinct celery flavour with a slight nuttiness. Roast it whole as a veggie showstopper, slice into a mustard-spiked remoulade or mash as an alternative to potatoes for a side dish.

Image: Maja Smend
Image: Maja Smend

Try it

Indian-spiced celeriac rosti with herb yogurt

For a hearty brunch, rustle up these celeriac rosti topped with an oozing poached egg and served with mango chutney and a herby yogurt alongside. 

Blackberries

The arrival of plump blackberries on the hedgerows marks the transition from late summer to autumn. Slightly tart early in the season, they become sweeter as they ripen; fit for comforting crumbles, cobblers and pies. Blackberries are not limited to puddings, however. Try pairing them with rich meats such as duck, or in salads with brie or goats’ cheese.

Image: Kris Kirkham
Image: Kris Kirkham

Try it

Blackberry and peanut butter swirl brownies

Give your brownies an autumnal twist with juicy blackberries and crunchy peanut butter. 

Mussels

The quality of mussels is generally better if the month has an ‘R’ in its name, so September marks the start of the season after the summer months. These small shellfish are cheap to buy and quick to cook. Look for clean, unbroken shells that are tightly closed, and discard any open mussels that don’t close with a sharp tap on the work surface. They’re delicious when simply steamed with white wine or cider and eaten with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up all the lovely juices.

Image: Ant Duncan
Image: Ant Duncan

Try it

Linguine with mussels and chickpeas

This seafood pasta pairs mussels with fennel, chilli and chickpeas. Enjoy it with the bottle of white wine that you’ve opened for the recipe! 

Figs

With its distinctive appearance, taste and texture, this fruit makes an attractive addition to the autumnal table. Enjoy figs fresh or roasted and in sweet or savoury dishes. They have a natural affinity with the saltiness of cheese and ham – wrap in Parma ham as a simple starter, arrange on a cheeseboard with a drizzle of honey or bake into a frangipane tart for dessert.

Image: Martin Poole
Image: Martin Poole

Try it

Transform fresh figs into a sticky spiced compote and spoon onto rice pudding for comfort food heaven…

 

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