These new recipes for this wonderful season reflect my love and affinity with the produce from autumn. The many colours, tastes and sensations that autumn provides have the edge on other seasons for me, and it is the time of the year that I look forward to more than any other. I love comfort food, warming and satisfying, emotionally as well as physically. As the weather changes and additional layers of clothes are required, I take inspiration from the wonderful colours, to come up with new ways of combining all the delicious food available. Pumpkins are wonderful and easy to prepare, my favourite is simply roasted with spices and chilli and added to risotto or soup. Blueberries, with all their wonderful anti-oxidant goodness, are abundant at the moment and are essential to have on hand for snacking, smoothies or to scatter on top of morning porridge or muesli.
But mushrooms are the most magical of all, secret deliciousness hidden in undisclosed dark places that just happen to be perfect places to be at autumn time. One of my most favourite autumn memories was the first time I ever went mushroom foraging in the beautiful forests at Woodstock in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. What a perfect afternoon of quiet, rustling leaves, contemplation and sheer excitement at finding some wonderful mushroom treasure. If you ever have the chance to join a mushroom hunt, take it instantly, it is a wonderful experience. Mushroom foraging events in Ireland can be found at mushroomstuff.com, clare.ie and lavistownhouse.ie, among many others.
Click here to see, and hopefully cook, my new autumn recipes for this year.