Sunday, 18 October 2009

Season of Mists

Suddenly it's autumn. Well of course it's not suddenly at all, but there's a day when you notice that it's turned really chilly, leaves are everywhere, and it's all downhill to Christmas. Sorry for mentioning the C word, and I'm the first to be annoyed by pre Christmas marketing and carols in October in Woollies,(not now they've gone bust!), but the fact remains that if you like a home made Christmas like I do, then you do have to start making preparations well in advance. I've already mentioned my intention to spray the seedheads of the Allium Schubertii, (try to keep calm) but the onset of the colder weather and appearance of dried leaves and seeds just make me think of decorations, and presents and cards and all that stuff. It's a nice occupation for autumn evenings, it's dark by 7 pm now, so plenty of time to get down to cutting, sticking, sewing, painting and all that stuff. Anyway more of that later, but for now there's the last of the autumn veg which is still in abundance,even if in my garden it's apparently not that easy to find....
When I got home at the weekend (did I mention I've been to Brazil) I asked my friend and garden/livestock sitter Alison if she had helped herself to any produce as I had instructed, and she told me she hadn't been able to find anything to pick! So just to prove that there actually is something in there amongst the undergrowth, here is what I picked today...(and I do realise that the chrysanthemums aren't edible!)


I think however that it must be more difficult to find stuff in the garden than I realised. I must either do some weeding or put up signposts and provide a guide.

Anyway for a quick autumnal supper, and a good way to use up the available produce try a mixed veg roast to go with a couple of pork chops, or chicken legs, or even just on it's own with some pasta. I'm fond of things you can assemble and then just bung in the oven and leave while you get on with something else  in your busy life, or have a glass of wine and a bath while you wait, as I do.

It's also the kind of thing that's useful if you get a veg box, as you can adapt it to almost any combination of seasonal veg, just make sure you adapt your chopping technique to accomodate different cooking times, so that your carrots for example will be cooked before your courgettes disintegrate.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables with or without Pork Chops

Ingredients
This is what I had on hand...
Half a small Pumpkin, seeded and sliced
1 Courgette, chunkily sliced
1 White turnip, chunked
1 Wierdly shaped Esther Rantzen style carrot
Garlic, about 4 large cloves peeled
1 Small aubergine chunky sliced
1 Onion, chunky sliced
A Selection of tomatoes roughly chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
Large bunch of parsley, few sprigs of thyme
2  thick pork chops, or 2 chicken legs, or nothing at all if you fancy veggie.
Extra virgin olive oil
Half a teaspoon or so of smoked paprika
Good pinch of ground cumin
salt and pepper

Spread veg and herbs in roasting pan,

and nestle the chops or chicken in amongst, if you're using them. Drizzle with quite a bit of extra virgin olive oil, season generously with salt and black pepper, plus the smoked paprika and ground cumin.
Place in a hot oven for about 45 minutes or so, until the veg are softened and the meat is cooked through. You should have some concentrated  juice in the bottom of the tin, which you can pour over when you plate the dish.

4 comments:

  1. Yummmm! That recipe sounds so good. And especially good with all the home grown veggies. I wonder if I could make that on the wood stove?

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  2. I don't have a wood stove Callie, but I guess it would work, you'll have to let me know if you try it.
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  3. The veggies look yummy indeed! We usually have them with feta cheese.
    Great blog!

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  4. That sounds like an excellent idea. I must try it!

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