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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
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.
Bake plums into this rich and creamy Stilton tart for a delicious weekend lunch or dinner-party starter.
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.
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.
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.
Give your brownies an autumnal twist with juicy blackberries and crunchy peanut butter.
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.
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!
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.