Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Autumn's Bounty.

Hello lovelies,

October is here, and with the scent of woodsmoke and damp, moldering leaves in the air...Autumn my favourite season.

At this time of year, I love, love LOVE to forage. September saw a wealth of juicy berry delights from the hedgerows and swollen ruby rosehips from the wild roses down by the river. My garden has been generous with it's bounty too, I've made litres and litres of Cavalo Nero soups and a huge batch of nasturtium pesto which is spectacularly delicious.

I'd like to share some the recipes with you which I came across on Pinterest and saved to my 'Foraging Finds' board, check it out for heaps of wild (and not so wild) foody inspirations. Each year...almost without fail, I make rosehip syrup from foraged hips...the small ones work best for good colour. It's packed with natural vitamin C and is reputed to keep colds and flu at bay, worth a shot if you ask me. 

This recipe is from River Cottage and works every time :)

- Sterilise a couple of bottles and vinegar-proof screw-tops or stoppers by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them on a tray in a low oven (at 120°C/Gas 1⁄2) to dry out and heat up.
- Roughly chop a couple of kilo's of rosehips in a food processor in batches, then transfer to a large saucepan and add 1.25 litres water.
- Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Strain through a double layer of muslin, letting the pulp sit for a good half hour so that all the juice passes through.
- Wash out the muslin, or cut a fresh piece, fold to double it and pass the strained juice through it again.
- Measure the rosehip juice into a large saucepan.
- For every 500ml, add 325g sugar.
- Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes, skimming off any scum if necessary.
- Decant immediately into the prepared bottles and seal.
- Label when the bottles have cooled completely.
- Use within 4 months and refrigerate once opened.

Hugh's serving suggestions are - Try it for breakfast trickled over porridge, pancakes, drop scones or eggy bread; use it to sweeten plain yoghurt (with some chopped apple if you like); or for a delicious pud, trickle it on to hot or cold rice pudding or good vanilla ice cream.
I also like it just in a glass of hot water to sip, it's addictive!


Next up, my second favourite...Nasturtium Pesto (found on Foodista blog)...wow this stuff is good and so so easy to make. My garden was bursting with flowers and leaves growing all around the raised beds this year, I've been adding them to salads and soups through the summer, but this is a great way to use a LOT at once, you can even freeze it!

100g Nasturtium Leaves freshly picked and washed
3 large garlic cloves
70g Parmesan cheese
70g almonds or (I used cashews) – roughly chopped
160ml extra virgin olive oil (I used rapeseed oil)
1tsp salt

Method: - simply blitz everything together in a blender and pop into an airtight jar or kilner type if using fresh, if freezing, put in a tuppaware box and defrost as needed.

I've been scoffing this with pasta, on pizza's and mixed into marinades, it's a little spicy from the leaves, but fresh and delicious, enjoy xx.

I hope you enjoy making these scrummy autumnal treats, feel free to add your favourite recipes in the comments below, I can't wait to try some out.

I hope you'd like to check back with me again soon, I have some VERY exciting news to be announced in the next blog post coming in November...EEeePPP!! Watch this space...why not subscribe so you don't miss it??

But in the meantime, here's to toffee apples, hot chocolate chilly fingers in wooly gloves and frosty walks, a celebration of the coming of winter, wrap up warm peeps, 


Love Ceri