September signifies a change of the seasons, woodland walks and cosy evenings in. These recipes should provide comfort & nourishment
Mussel linguine with saffron cream & samphire
This simple dish celebrates these tasty, vitamin-packed morsels in all their glory. The addition of samphire is delicious, if you can still get some – if not, cavolo nero or kale also work well. Once you get going it’s a bit of a whirlwind from pan to plate so get your ingredients prepped before turning on the hob. Take four large, firm tomatoes and score a cross into the base of each before placing in boiling water for a minute or two then use a slotted spoon to transfer to cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel off skins, remove seeds and membrane, chop and leave to one side. In a small bowl add 3tbsp of just-boiled water to a good pinch of saffron threads and leave until needed. Thinly slice four cloves of garlic, finely chop a handful of fresh parsley and zest one lemon, adding the juice from half. Measure 150ml white wine and 4tbsp of single cream and you’re ready! Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook pasta (to al dente). Meanwhile, heat 2tbsp olive oil in a pan with a lid and gently sauté your garlic, until golden; add your tomato, wine, saffron (with infused water) and season. Bring to a boil, letting the wine cook out a few minutes, then add 400g of fresh mussels and cook for about five minutes (with lid on) until open. Add lemon juice, zest, cream and samphire with a sprinkle of Aleppo chilli flakes and check seasoning, cooking for a few minutes before stirring into pasta, stirring. Serve with fresh parsley.
Rose veal schnitzel
You can use pork or chicken for this schnitzel but I think rose veal works best for its sweet and tender flavour. Make breadcrumbs with day-old bread. Place your breadcrumbs in a shallow dish then whisk two eggs and place in a second shallow dish and place well-seasoned plain flour in a third. Cover your escalopes with greaseproof paper and beat to about 5mm thin. Coat each in flour then egg then crumb and refrigerate until required. Heat olive oil with a knob of butter in a frying pan to about 1.5cm deep and when a crumb dropped in sizzles and rises to the surface, cook each schnitzel for a minute or two on each side until they turn crisp and golden. Blot with kitchen paper and serve with fresh lemon.
The perfect accompaniment with a fresh, garlicky yoghurt dressing. Sometimes I like to serve this inside a brioche bun with schnitzel or pile high upon schnitzel and serve with sauté potatoes. Use a slicing blade on a food processor or chop the following finely and add to a large bowl one fennel bulb, six radishes, half a red onion, ¼ green cabbage and ¼ red cabbage then add a grated carrot. To make your dressing mix 250g natural yoghurt with two minced garlic cloves, 1tsp of Dijon mustard, ½ tsp each of celery salt and ground pepper and the juice of ½ a lemon. Adjust seasoning as you wish then stir in the coleslaw until well coated. Garnish with chopped toasted pecans.
Apple and marzipan pie
The duo of apple and marzipan tastes divine. Heat your oven to 200°C. Peel and core two large (or three small Bramley) apples and roughly chop. Place in a saucepan with 80g of caster sugar, 30g unsalted butter and 3tbsp of water. Bring to a boil then lid the pan and gently cook, stirring occasionally until puréed. Leave to cool. Unroll a ready-made all-butter puff pastry sheet on to a lightly greased baking tray and slice 250g of natural, uncoloured marzipan. Lay the slices across the pastry leaving a 2cm border all around the edge then spoon over your cooled puree. Lightly beat two egg yolks and brush around the border. Unroll another piece of puff pastry and place it on top using your fingers or a fork to crimp and seal around the edges. Cut diagonal lines about 2cm apart from the centre towards the edges of the pie leaving a 2cm border using a sharp knife then brush with more egg mixture and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is crisp and golden. Best served warm with thick cream, ice cream or custard.