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!)
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
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,