Go with the grain of Autumn
Oats, corn, maize... Jenny Bristow turns this season's harvest into delicious dishes
Published 09/10/2010 | 05:00
This wonderful start to the autumn season is a dream for any cook. The fields are golden with grain -- it's a sight that we take for granted and yet it forms the backbone of so many of our favourite foods and dishes.
Grains have endless uses when it comes to cooking, and they have many healthy properties -- they're packed full of fibre and B vitamins.
I am always looking for ways to cook and use them. This week, I have come up with a stunning granola recipe made with a variety of grains. It is ideal for breakfast, or even as a topping for many a pie or dessert.
Fish pie made with value-for-money, fresh, seasonal fish is a staple in many a home. The Boston scrod made with the best catch of the day is a dish created with intelligence, and it is also packed with goodness.
My frugal background sent me looking for a really tasty topping: you can turn leftover bread into crumbs and mix them with coarsely grated Parmesan cheese and a few chopped herbs. Use whatever type of bread you have -- granary, white, soda or ciabatta. The simplicity of this dish accepts the crumbs in any shape or form, coarse or fine, whatever takes your fancy.
I adore fritters, and when made with sweetcorn or maize it's a great dish. I served them with a cranberry and chilli ketchup, and this is one of those magic recipes where you can add a few greenhouse tomatoes coarsely diced and a few plums from the trees. I sometimes add a few blackberries in their prime, too.
My dessert is made with the best of the season's apples and crusted with a pastry made from flour and almonds. It's crumbly, light and tasty, even for those who firmly believe they can't make pastry. Don't be afraid of adding a few seasonal elderberries or blackberries to the pastry -- after all, they're free for the picking.
This year has yielded a great harvest of apples, plums, rosehips, damsons, tomatoes and grain in the fields. Enjoy.