In autumn, we are welcomed by a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables that bring with them an array of vibrant colours and flavors. Nature's bounty during this month reflects the changing landscapes and temperatures, offering a delicious variety of produce to savour. In this blog, we will explore the delightful fruits and vegetables that grace our tables in October.
The UK Apple season typically spans from late summer through to early winter, with the peak of the harvest occurring during the autumn months. The exact timing of the apple season can vary depending on the variety of apples and the region of the UK. Take advantage of the abundance of locally grown apples can lead to a wide array of delicious and comforting dishes. Whether you prefer them baked in a pie, simmered into sauce, or used to enhance savoury recipes, the versatility of apples makes them a quintessential ingredient in the kitchen.
Mid-Season Apples (Mid to Late Autumn): Many popular apple varieties, such as Cox's Orange Pippin and Egremont Russet, reach their prime during this time, from September through October.
Late-Season Apples (Late Autumn - Early Winter): Varieties like Bramley, a renowned cooking apple, and Gala often continue to ripen until November or even early December.
Winter squashes are a diverse and flavourful group of vegetables that thrive in the autumn months and are prized for their vibrant colours, rich textures, and sweet, nutty flavours. These hearty squashes are versatile in the kitchen and can be used in a wide range of culinary creations. Here, we explore some popular varieties of winter squashes:
Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is known for its elongated pear shape, smooth beige skin, and sweet, orange flesh. It's a favorite for roasting, pureeing into soups, and incorporating into casseroles.
Acorn Squash: Acorn squash is small and round with dark green or orange skin. It has a mildly sweet flavour and is often halved and roasted or stuffed.
Spaghetti Squash: When cooked, the flesh of spaghetti squash can be scraped into long, stringy strands resembling spaghetti. It has a mild, slightly nutty taste and is often used as a low-carb pasta substitute
Kabocha Squash: Kabocha squash has a squat, round shape with dark green or orange skin. Its flesh is dense, sweet, and often used in Japanese and other Asian cuisines for tempura, soups, and stews.
Delicata squash: Delicata squash is small and cylindrical with creamy skin adorned with green or orange stripes. Its flesh has a sweet, nutty flavour and is often roasted or stuffed.
Pears are a beloved fruit celebrated for their sweet, juicy flesh and delicate flavour, offering a delicious and refreshing addition to menus. Whether you prefer them fresh, baked into desserts, added to salads, or turned into preserves, pears are a versatile and delightful fruit that brings a taste of fall to your culinary creations. Widely grown in France, popular varieties are Williams, Conference, Beurre Bosc and Comice.
Puntarelle is a type of chicory, and it thrives during the winter months when many other greens are scarce. This makes it a valuable addition to winter menus, adding a burst of freshness and crispness to your dishes when you need it most. Its cold-hardiness and ability to withstand lower temperatures make it a go-to choice for seasonal cooking. It is predominantly grown in Italy, particularly in the central and southern regions. Rome, in particular, is famous for its Puntarelle cultivation and the classic Roman dish "Puntarelle alla Romana."
Brussels sprouts, a member of the cabbage family, have been cultivated for centuries. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean region, they are now grown in various parts of the world. Whether you're a long-time fan or a Brussels sprouts skeptic, there's no denying the potential of these petite greens to elevate your culinary creations and contribute to your overall well-being. From roasting with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze to sautéing with garlic and bacon, these mini cabbages can be prepared in countless ways.