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As the children head back to school, our focus turns to Autumn, and specifically our favourite Autumn Vegetable Recipes.  The change of season signals the harvest of pumpkin and squash, celeriac, fennel, cabbage and root vegetables like beetroot, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Courgettes and tomatoes remain plentiful, and offer lighter notes to the more earthy flavours. We love our summer salads, but always look forward to the shift to winter salads. Enjoying them with soup at lunch or to complement richer meat dishes at dinnertime. We are lucky in Ireland to have many talented chefs and food writers who, like us, enjoy the best of each season.  They inspire us, and we love to share their recipes to showcase the many wonderful ways we can all enjoy Autumn vegetables.

Griddled courgette saladGriddled Courgette Salad with Chilli & Mint Salad

A recipe by Donal Skehan

INGREDIENTS

4 large courgettes

3 tbsp olive oil

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

200g fresh peas, blanched

150g feta

200g faro, cooked

Sea salt and black pepper

For the chilli mint salsa:

1 red chilli, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, finely sliced

A small handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped plus extra leaves to garnish

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the courgettes into thin strips and add to the bowl and toss through.
  2. Heat a large griddle pan over a high heat and griddle the courgette strips in batches until charred on both sides.  Transfer to a plate.
  3. Whisk the ingredients for the chilli mint salsa together in a bowl.
  4. Squeeze in any remaining juice from the lemons.Combine the faro, feta, fresh peas and lemon zest and half the chilli mint salsa.
  5. Transfer to a platter and arrange the griddled courgette on top. Scatter with mint leaves and drizzle over the chilli mint salsa

Drumanilra ColcannonColcannon

A recipe by Kevin Dundon

Ingredients:

6-8 large potatoes, peeled

1 parsnip, chopped into uniform pieces

2 carrots, chopped

½ head cabbage

200ml buttermilk

Salt and pepper to season

150g butter

4-6 spring onions, sliced

Method

  1. Place the potatoes and vegetables into a colander over hot water, or into a steamer and steam until the vegetables have all softened, this will take approximately 45 minutes.
  2. Place the vegetables into a bowl and mash them all together adding the buttermilk and butter.
  3. Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with a knob of butter on top and sprinkle with some sliced spring onions.

Spicy Beetroot SoupSpicy beetroot soup

Inspired by Jennifer Oppermann

The rich colour of this soup makes it a showstopper.  The earthy flavours of the beetroots is beautifully complimented by the blend of fragrant spices.  The coconut flavours add a mild sweetness and lighten the dish.  A favourite for after school or to heat up little people after swimming or football.  Also a great family warmer after a weekend walk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium green onions (medium dice)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger (grated finely)
  • 4 large beets about 700g (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 400ml vegetable broth or stock

Method:

  1. Place a large pot/stockpot over a medium heat when it’s hot, add the coconut oil, then the onions, cooking for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are opaque and soft. Add in garlic and ginger, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently making sure they don’t burn.
  2. Add the beetroot and all the spices. Stir then cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock or broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beets are tender.
  3. Use a fork to prod them to see if they are cooked through. When the beets are soft transfer the mix to a blender (you can use a stick blender and save on the washing up) and purée until creamy and smooth.
  4. Top with Greek yogurt and serve.