Nigel Slater’s autumn fruit and nut recipes | Life and magnificence


Sweet younger mussels, crisp new season’s nuts, wild mushrooms, early apples and late berries – might there be a greater time of the yr to buy meals? This month’s recipes take advantage of the early nuts – the fats cobnuts and candy walnuts – and the final of the green-fleshed summer time squashes. Wild mushrooms are cooked with sweet-flesh younger birds and there are berries to make use of too – the late blackberries and autumn raspberries for including to roast and sautéed meat and tucking into little selfmade pies and tarts. The finest elements of the season, splendidly but merely, on a plate.

Quail with wild mushrooms and blackberries

Spatchcocking merely includes splitting every chicken alongside its spine with a heavy knife or sturdy kitchen scissors and opening it out flat. It permits the chicken to cook dinner shortly and evenly. Use wild mushrooms when you’ve got entry to them, or cultivated, such because the small chestnut selection.

Serves 2
quail 4, oven prepared
olive oil 50ml
lemon juice 50ml
thyme 10 small sprigs
juniper berries 10
assorted wild mushrooms 275g
blackberries 150g

Using a heavy cook dinner’s knife or kitchen scissors, reduce every of the quail by the spine and open out flat, like a e-book. In a big bowl, combine collectively the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme sprigs and juniper berries. Put the quail into the marinade and put aside for an hour or 2. Turn the quail often.

Warm half of of the marinade in a sauté pan over a average warmth, add the birds and brown them as evenly as doable, turning as obligatory. Add the remaining marinade and the mushrooms to the pan, then, when the mushrooms are frivolously colored, decrease the warmth and let the quail cook dinner till they’re completed to your liking. (Pierce the flesh at its thickest half with a skewer to examine its progress.)

Add the blackberries and cook dinner for a minute or 2 until their juices begin to run, then serve the quail with the mushrooms, blackberries and pan juices.

Patty pan with cobnuts

Patty pan with cobnuts.

Patty pan with cobnuts. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

A extremely helpful recipe is 1 which doesn’t tie you to particular elements, permitting you to substitute at will. This concept of cooking slices of squash in butter with somewhat vermouth and herbs will be tweaked in line with no matter selection it’s important to hand, be it courgette, pumpkin, butternut or, as right here, cute little patty pans. I recommend cobnuts right here, however the brand new season’s hazelnuts can be good, too.

Serves 2 as a aspect dish
patty pan 400g, or different small squash
butter 35g
white vermouth 80ml
sage leaves 4
shell-on cobnuts a handful, or hazelnuts

If any of the patty pan squash are bigger than a golf ball, reduce them in half of horizontally. Melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the vermouth then the patty pans. Drop within the sage leaves and sprinkle on somewhat salt. Cover with a lid, letting the squashes simmer within the wine and butter for about 20 minutes till tender to the purpose of a knife. Keep the warmth pretty low, basting the greens repeatedly with the pan juices.

While the squashes cook dinner, crack the cobnuts or hazelnuts and take away them from their shells. Add the nuts to the pan, grind over somewhat black pepper then serve, spooning over the buttery juices as you go.

Broccoli, blue cheese and walnuts with horseradish

Broccoli, blue cheese and walnuts with horseradish.

Broccoli, blue cheese and walnuts with horseradish. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

The new season’s walnuts are pale in color and have a lightweight, nearly milky character. They are simply the job for including to a salad of blue cheese and greens equivalent to this.

Serves 2
thin-stemmed broccoli 250g
kale 50g, inside coronary heart leaves
celeriac 125g, peeled
lemon ½
shelled walnuts 40g
walnut or groundnut oil 1 tbsp
agency blue cheese 300g

For the dressing
egg yolk 1
dijon mustard 2 tsp
grain mustard 1 tbsp
recent horseradish 10g, grated
olive oil 60ml
lemon juice 2 tspl

Cook the broccoli in deep boiling water for 3 minutes till the color is brilliant and the stem is tender however crisp. Immediately take away from the water, drain and decrease right into a bowl of iced water. Add the kale leaves to the boiling water, depart for a minute then drain and add to the bowl of chilly water. Coarsely grate the celeriac, then put it right into a bowl and squeeze over the juice of the halved lemon.

In a shallow pan, toast the walnuts within the walnut or groundnut oil until browned and aromatic. Drain and put aside.

For the dressing, put the egg yolk in deep mixing bowl, then add the mustards. Stir within the horseradish then introduce the olive oil somewhat at a time, beating constantly with a balloon whisk till the dressing has thickened. It needs to be thick sufficient to frivolously coat the greens. Whisk within the lemon juice.

Drain the broccoli and slice every bit in halve lengthways. Drain the kale. Toss the celeriac and dressing collectively. To serve, pile the broccoli on a serving plate, spoon over the kale, grated celeriac and toasted walnuts, then crumble over the blue cheese.

Mussels, apples and cider

Mussels, apples and cider.

Mussels, apples and cider. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

We had the primary, small, candy mussels of the autumn the opposite night time, their high shells eliminated, the chubby little chaps sitting in a cream and cider sauce. I do know a kilo sounds a whole lot of mussels for 2, however it’s stunning what number of you will get by. Bread, one thing crisp-crusted and chewy, is just about a necessity right here.

Serves 2-3
shallots 2 medium-sized
candy apples 2 small
mussels 1kg
butter 40g
medium-dry cider 350ml
double cream 150ml
parsley a handful, chopped

Peel and finely chop the shallots. Core the apples and reduce them into 1cm cubes, leaving the pores and skin on. Scrub the mussels, checking them for any that don’t shut when tapped firmly on the aspect of the sink or are chipped or cracked.

Melt the butter in shallow pan, add the shallots and cook dinner over a average warmth till they’re translucent. Add the apples and allow them to cook dinner until they soften. They ought to retain their form. Pour in 200ml of the cider, let it come to the boil then add the cream and let the sauce bubble at a sprightly tempo till it’s lowered by half of. Stir within the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

In a big, deep pan, warmth the remaining 150ml of cider, then add the cleaned mussels. Cover tightly with a lid and allow them to steam for two or 3 minutes till their shells have opened. Remove the mussels from their cooking liquid with a draining spoon, snap off the highest, empty shell from every mussel. Place the decrease shells with their cargo of mussels in heat bowls or deep plates, be certain the apple sauce is scorching then spoon over the mussels and serve.

Raspberry apple pastries

Raspberry apple pastries.

Raspberry apple pastries. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

Puff pastry, the brand new season’s apples, hazelnuts and late raspberries. The essence of early autumn. The easiest possible dessert, made in minutes, for consuming heat from the oven with creme fraiche.

Makes 4 tarts
dessert apples 425g
caster sugar 3 tbsp, plus 4 tsp
water 75ml
raspberries 150g
puff pastry 250g
egg 1, crushed
hazelnuts 30g
cream or creme fraiche to serve

You will want 2 baking sheets, 1 lined with baking parchment. Place the empty baking sheet within the oven to get scorching, setting the oven at 200C/gasoline mark 6. Peel and core the apples, then reduce them into quarters. Put them in a medium-sized, heavy-based pan with 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the water. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 10 minutes till comfortable sufficient to crush. Remove from the warmth, then mash to a tough, agency puree with a fork. Fold within the raspberries, crushing frivolously as you go.

Roll the pastry right into a rectangle measuring 38cm x 30cm. Using a pastry cutter or a small saucer, reduce 8 x 12cm circles. (This could require re-rolling the pastry cuttings for the final 1 or 2.) Place 4 of the discs of pastry on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide the apple and raspberry filling between them piling it gently into the centre of every.

Brush the rim of every of the 4 crammed pastry discs with the egg wash, decrease a chunk of the reserved pastry onto every urgent down firmly across the edges to seal. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Brush the highest of every tart with the crushed egg, then scatter the hazelnuts excessive. Dust with the caster sugar, pierce a small gap within the high of every, then bake for 20 minutes nonetheless golden and properly risen. Serve with the cream or creme fraiche.

Email Nigel at [email protected] or comply with him on Twitter @NigelSlater

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