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How to make the most of seasonal ingredients in late summer and autumn

By Bgiles Subscribe to RSS | August 8th 2012 | Views:
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Using seasonal ingredients has become a big part of how we eat in the UK today. That’s because, after years of having fresh fruit and vegetables flown in from overseas, people in Britain are starting to appreciate the value of home-grown produce. And since the whole country is affected by such varying seasons, there’s a lot of variety to choose from across the year. Here’s a quick look at what ingredients are at their best in late summer and autumn.

The British summertime is known for the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables it brings. June and July are characterised by the emergence of red berries, especially strawberries, cherries and raspberries, while tomatoes and fresh peas are delicious now too. But as August arrives, we start to see more autumnal trends in fruit crops.

August brings the first crop of delicious autumn apples and pears. If you have an apple tree or a pear tree in your garden, now’s the time to get picking. The chances are you’ll have a glut of fruit so it’s a great opportunity to preserve some of it in jams, chutneys or simply in syrup. They’ll go great in a pie or tart, or sliced and eaten with cold meats at Christmas. Other berries, like blueberries, blackberries and cherries are also still around: these will taste great in a crumble, especially if they’re just past their plumpest stage.

When September arrives, it’s a great time for shellfish, especially oysters, crab and mussels. Cook mussels simply in their own juices or with a bit of white wine, and serve with parsley and a wedge of lemon to enjoy their clean and fresh taste. Savoy cabbage also comes into its own this month: try cooking it with lardons, a little butter and plenty of salt and pepper, and eat alongside a fillet of firm white fish like hake for a truly delicious seasonal dish.

In October, root vegetables like celeriac and beetroot emerge. They’re both fantastic in a simple soup. But to use beetroot in a more unusual way, try adding it to brownies or cakes and make the most of its sweet dimensions. And in November, things take on a decidedly more festive vibe, with satsumas, cranberries, chestnuts and brussels sprouts appearing on grocery shelves. Get ahead of your Christmas schedule and make your cranberry sauce and chestnut stuffing now. Or ignore Christmas altogether for another month and indulge in Jerusalem artichokes, whose robust flavour is often overlooked. These are at their best roasted in olive oil and simple seasonings, or chopped up and added to soup to add a depth of flavour.

Chefs in the UK are increasingly aware of the benefits of cooking and eating seasonal produce that’s grown at home, or as close as possible. So whether you’re looking for restaurants in London or places to eat in Manchester it’s perfectly possible to eat seasonally both out of your house and inside it.

Bgiles - About Author:
Bruce Giles places to eat in Manchesterwrites for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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