The Best of the September Season

Eating foods that are in season not only minimises the environmental impact of transporting items across the globe, it also ensures that your recipes will taste fresher and tastier than ever. So what should you be putting on your plate right now?

blackberry-bush

Berry Nice! | Blackberries are everywhere right now, so grab the kids and a few pots and head to your nearest hedgerow. These berries taste all the sweeter because they often don’t end up costing you a penny, but just make sure you don’t end up stealing someone else’s fruit.

They taste great served with a sprinkle of sugar and lashings of cream, or muddle them into a glass of cold martini for a really refreshing treat. As the days get cooler, there is nothing more comforting than a slice of apple and blackberry pie — making use of yet another great seasonal ingredient that, quite simply, grows on trees. Invest in a great pie dish such as Le Creuset Pie Dish from John Lewis and pop some berries in the freezer. Then you can get the custard bubbling throughout even the coldest winter months.

A Fresh Five | It’s easy to get your hands on your ‘five-a-day’ during September as so many great vegetables are in season. Choose from family favourite such as broccoli, beetroot, carrots, peas, peppers, runner beans, onions and leeks, or go for the slightly more exotic artichoke, pak choi, celeriac, fennel, kohlrabi, mange tout or wild mushrooms. Add some spice into your life with in-season garlic and chillies, and you will never have to endure a dull meal on even the most miserable of autumn days. If you are stuck for ideas, get your hands on a few new recipe books such as Recipes for Gourmet Vegetables from Hive, Vegetable Soup Greats from Foyles, and even Vegetable Stuffing Greats, also from Hive.

Be Prepared | It is a great idea to keep some of September’s produce to see you through the next couple of months. Quickly blanche your vegetables before freezing to retain the maximum amount of nutrients and taste. Or how about getting your pickling jars out? Christmas dinner tastes great with homemade pickled onions and beetroot. A ‘Perfectly Pickled’ jar from Not On The High Street will also make a fun and stylish addition to any larder.

You can also freeze or dry some of the great herbs that are just waiting to be picked right now. Choose from basil, chives, oregano, coriander, mint, rosemary, parsley, thyme, tarragon and sage. Make your own stuffings and soups to see you right through the winter months.

Get Your Teeth In | In-season meats are some of the most tender and flavourful around. September is still great for lamb and beef, as well as gamey favourites such as hare, guinea fowl, pheasant, venison, rabbit, wood pigeon and grouse. If you have not cooked much game before, have a look at Favourite Game Recipes from Foyles Bookshop.