• Tim Price

Recipes: 5 Autumnal Dishes for You to Try in the Kitchen this Fall



With the summer well and truly finished, many people can feel low this time of year. However, there are many things that make autumn great. Crunchy leaves on the path, amber and gold treetops and warm drinks are just some of the treats which come at this transitional time of the year. Chiefly though, autumn puts us in mind of specific and delicious recipes that just wouldn’t fit in summer. Below are just a few recipes to get your autumnal cooking spirit started.


Vegan Pumpkin Soup

What could be more autumnal than pumpkins? This super simple recipe is perfect for cold blustery days when you are looking for something warming and delicious that doesn’t take long to make. This would make a good choice for either Bonfire Night or Halloween or for any other occasion. And being vegan, it can be enjoyed by most eaters.


This recipe serves a party of 4. Prep time: 20 minutes and Cooking time: approx. 35 minutes. This recipe is one of my very own!


What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 700g (1lb 6oz) pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped (can use butternut squash instead)

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1.2 ltrs (2 pts) water or vegetable stock

  • 200ml (7fl oz) milk or soya light alternative to milk

  • 4 tbsp. cream or soya alternative to cream

  • 4 bread sticks


Method:


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften.


2. Add the pumpkin and sweet potato and cook for a 2-3 mins, then add the water or stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 mins until the pumpkin and sweet potato are very tender.


3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the bread in half lengthways, then make several cuts one third of the way up the length to look like broom bristles. Repeat with the other bread, put onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5-8 mins until golden.


4. Stir the soya light into the soup, whiz everything together in blender or processor in batches until smooth. Return to the pan and gently warm through. Pour into bowls and finish with a swirl of soya alternative to cream.


5. Dunk bread into soup and enjoy.



Sticky Date Puddings with Caramel Sauce

Another fan favourite at autumn is sticky date pudding with caramel sauce. Again, this is a fairly simple recipe but with big results. The date sponge and caramel sauce make a lovely combination that is both hearty and comforting when the outside is less than welcoming.


This recipe serves a party of 8. Prep time: 15 minutes and Cooking time: approx. 40 minutes. This recipe is from taste.com.au


What you will need:

  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

  • 80g butter, cubed and softened

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • 2 extra large eggs

  • 1½ cups self-raising flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Pure cream

Sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 125g butter, cubed

  • 200mL Bulla Pure Cream

  • 1 cinnamon stick

Method:


1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 5cm deep, 20cm x 20cm oven tray with baking paper. Place dates, water and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stir in the bi-carb soda, remove from heat and set aside.


2. Using electric beaters, combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well before adding the next.


3. Fold in the flour and cinnamon, alternating with the date mixture until all combined and mix is smooth. Pour into prepared pan and cook for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.


4. Meanwhile for the sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for several minutes until smooth.


5. To serve, cut pudding into portions, place onto a serving plate and drizzle with caramel sauce and additional cream.


Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is one of the lesser known squashes and is usually overshadowed by butternut and pumpkin. However, this squash deserves just as much limelight as it is very healthy and full of fibre, plus it is incredibly tasty with or without the skin on. This is probably the simplest recipe listed here but still yields a lovely autumn meal.


This recipe serves a party of 2. Prep time: 5 minutes and Cooking time: approx. 1 hour and 5 minutes. This recipe is from delish.com


What you will need:

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed

  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened

  • 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

  • Small pinch kosher salt

Method:


1. Cut it in half. The first step is to cut it in half. To make it easier, cut the stem off and place squash cut side down on your cutting board. This will make a flat surface for it to stand on instead of dangerously rolling around on your cutting board. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, cutting through where the stem used to be.


2. Remove the seeds. After you have your squash open, use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Don't toss the seeds, though. Just like you can with pumpkin, clean them off and roast the seeds for a perfect little snack. At this point you can also cut the squash further if you don't want to serve them in halves. Leave the skin on and cut into half-moon slices or peel the skin off and cut into large cubes.


3. Dress it up. Choose if you would rather go the sweet or savoury route with your acorn squash. For savoury, drizzle it with some olive oil and sprinkle paprika or curry powder over it with some salt and pepper. For sweet, brush it with softened butter and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon all over it.


4. Roast it. Place your squash on a large baking sheet or in a baking dish, cut side up. Roast it at 400° for about an hour. A fork should be able to easily pierce the squash and shred it.


5. Serve warm out of the oven.


Chickpea and Kale Rigatoni with Smoky Bread Crumbs

This pasta dish will leave you wanting more, perfect for a cold, chilly autumn night.


This recipe serves a party of 6. Prep time: 35 minutes and Cooking time: approx. 15 minutes. This recipe is from goodhousekeeping.com


What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

  • 8 oz. fresh chorizo (or hot Italian sausage), casings removed

  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 large bunches kale (about 1 1/4 lbs. total), stemmed and chopped (about 20 c.)

  • 12 oz. rigatoni

  • 2 oz. Manchego cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving

Method:


1. In large skillet on medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add smoked paprika and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds. Add panko and pinch salt and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer crumbs to plate.


2. Wipe out skillet and heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high. Add chorizo; cook, breaking up with spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.


3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by one-third, 4 to 6 minutes.


4. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through, 2 minutes. Stir in kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.


5. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni as label directs. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid, then drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with chickpea mixture and Manchego, adding some of reserved cooking liquid if pasta seems dry. Serve sprinkled with bread crumbs and more cheese, if desired.

Cottage Pie

No autumnal recipe book would be complete without the comforting and humble cottage pie. Delicious and piping hot, this is a winner for all family and friends.

This recipe serves a party of 6. Prep time: 30 minutes and Cooking time: approx. 1 - 2 hours. This recipe is from bbcgoodfood.com


What you will need:


For the mince:

  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil

  • 1 large onion or 3–4 banana shallots, finely chopped

  • 650g/1lb 7oz beef mince

  • 2 tbsp. tomato purée

  • 1 tbsp. plain flour

  • 150ml/5fl oz red wine

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

  • 400ml/14fl oz beef stock

  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash:

  • 900g/2lb King Edward potatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 115g/4oz butter

  • 125ml/4½fl oz milk

Serve with:

  • 150g/5½oz frozen peas

  • 50g/1¾oz butter

Method:


1. Heat half of the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onion and cook until softened. Tip it onto a plate.


2. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining oil. When it's hot, fry the mince, in batches if needed, for 4–5 minutes, or until browned all over. Stir in the cooked onion and tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute. Pour in the red wine, scraping up any caramelised bits with a wooden spoon, and add the thyme.


3. Add the stock and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the mince is tender and the mixture has thickened. Season to taste and add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Keep warm over a very low heat. Preheat the grill to high.


4. Meanwhile, for the mash, put the potatoes in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12–15 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pan, then place over the heat for about 1 minute to drive off any excess moisture. Mash well, then add the butter and milk, beating to form a smooth mash. Season to taste.


5. Put the mince mixture in a baking dish and spoon the mash over the top. Grill for 8–10 minutes, or until golden-brown.


6. Meanwhile, boil the peas in boiling water in a small saucepan for 3–4 minutes, then drain and add the butter. Serve the cottage pie with the peas.



About Tim Price

Tim Price is an accredited freelance journalist based in Oxford. His main topics of focus are travel, lifestyle and current events. His background encompasses working for magazines, news services and private clients. He especially enjoys writing about New Zealand as a half Kiwi, half English hybrid.

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