For the love of au­tumn

Root veg­eta­bles, ap­ples, figs and bras­si­cas — the sea­son’s favourite in­gre­di­ents — come to­gether in a quick and easy en­ter­tain­ing menu



This soup ben­e­fits from be­ing pushed through a fine sieve af­ter blend­ing. It may seem like a lot of trou­ble, but the silky re­sult is well worth the ef­fort. It can be served warm but is equally good chilled on a warm au­tumn day.

Serves 6

1 onion, finely sliced

1 car­rot, finely diced

2 sticks of cel­ery, finely sliced 1T but­ter

1 gar­lic clove, crushed

500g young beet­roots, trimmed and diced

1 Granny Smith ap­ple, seeded, cubed

1l veg­etable stock

(prefer­ably home-made) crème fraîche, to serve snipped dill, to gar­nish

1. Sauté the onion, car­rot and cel­ery in the but­ter un­til the onion is translu­cent, but not yet brown. Add the gar­lic and sauté for a minute or two, tak­ing care not to burn the gar­lic as it will turn bit­ter. 2. Add the beet­root and ap­ple and sweat for 2 min­utes be­fore pour­ing in the stock. Bring to the boil, and then sim­mer un­til the beet­root is ten­der, about 20 min­utes. Al­low to cool, then purée.

3. Sea­son and chill. Serve with a dol­lop of crème fraîche and snipped dill.


Duck eggs are larger and richer than hen’s eggs and it’s the rich­ness that makes this warm salad per­fect for cooler weather. Don’t even think about buy­ing a ready-made cae­sar dress­ing – this salad gets its swag­ger from the dress­ing (made at home).

Serves 6

For the dress­ing

6 an­chovy fil­lets

1 gar­lic clove pinch of sea salt

2 large free-range egg

yolks, whisked 2T lemon juice

3/4t di­jon mus­tard 2T ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

1/2 cup sun­flower oil 3T grated parme­san sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per lemon juice, to taste

For the salad

12 strips pancetta 1 loaf cia­batta

2T white-wine vine­gar 6 duck eggs

300g baby cos let­tuce 80g parme­san

For the dress­ing

1. Place the an­chovies, gar­lic and salt in a pes­tle and mor­tar and mash to­gether to form a paste. 2. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the egg yolks, lemon juice and mus­tard. 3. Add the olive oil drop by drop, whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously to emul­sify, then add the sun­flower oil in a steady stream, whisk­ing.

Add the parme­san and sea­son to taste.

For the salad

1. Place the pancetta strips on a bak­ing tray and grill in the oven 10cm be­low the grill un­til crispy. Set aside, keep­ing warm. Do not cover, as the pancetta will lose its crisp. (Turn on a warm­ing drawer, as you can then keep the pancetta and the cia­batta warm while you as­sem­ble the salad.)

2. Slice the cia­batta thinly, brush with olive oil and place un­der the grill to toast, turn­ing. Set aside and keep warm. 3. Bring a pot of wa­ter to the boil and add the vine­gar. Stir the wa­ter, mak­ing a whirlpool. Crack each egg into a ramekin first to make sure the yolk is in­tact, then lower gen­tly into the whirlpool of wa­ter. The whites should swirl around the yolk, mak­ing a per­fect poached egg. Poach for 3 to 4 min­utes for soft yolks or un­til you see the whites set and turn colour from opaque to white. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and set aside.


1. Cut each cos let­tuce in half length­wise, down the mid­dle. Place the toasted cia­batta on a plat­ter or onto in­di­vid­ual plates. Top with the let­tuce (or at least two halves if serv­ing on in­di­vid­ual plates). Scat­ter the pancetta over the leaves, top with a poached duck egg, driz­zle gen­er­ously with dress­ing and, us­ing a veg­etable peeler, shave some parme­san strips over the top. Serve with the dress­ing and ex­tra parme­san on the side.


Chorizo and trout are a bril­liant match. The creamy cab­bage with the most un­der-rated of spices, white pep­per, bring it all to­gether.

Serves 6

4 x 150g fresh trout

fil­lets olive oil, for fry­ing 2 baby savoy

cab­bages, shred­ded 1/2 medium white cab­bage, shred­ded 1 onion, finely sliced 200g chorizo

250ml cream white pep­per, to taste sea salt, to taste

1. Brush a lit­tle oil onto the skin of each trout fil­let. Place the trout, skin-side down, in a heated, deep-bot­tomed pan over a medium-high heat and fry, about 3 to 4 min­utes, un­til the skin is crispy. 2. Place the fil­lets on a tray and bake in a pre­heated oven at 180˚C for 4 min­utes, for a pink-cen­tred fil­let or slightly longer if you like it a lit­tle more cooked. 3. While the trout is cook­ing, blanch the cab­bages in boil­ing, salted wa­ter for 2 min­utes. Strain and set aside. 4. Sauté the onion and chorizo in a lit­tle oil in a large pan un­til soft­ened. Add the cab­bage and cook for a fur­ther 2 min­utes. Add the cream and con­tinue cook­ing un­til the cream has thick­ened and the cab­bage is soft, about 2 min­utes more. Sea­son with salt and white pep­per. 5. Spoon the cab­bage onto in­di­vid­ual serv­ing plates and top with the trout, skin side up. Serve im­me­di­ately.


This is a dessert that dou­bles up as a cheese course. Baked un­til golden, the ri­cotta takes on a sweet per­sona with a driz­zle of honey and the ad­di­tion of both fresh and glacé fruits.

Serves 6

450g ri­cotta cheese 1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup grated Parme­san pinch of sea salt honey, to serve glacé fruit, to serve fresh figs, to serve

1. Pre­heat the oven to 200˚C. Us­ing a fork, mix to­gether the ri­cotta, egg and Parme­san. Sea­son. 2. Spoon the mix­ture into six in­di­vid­ual ramekins or cups (make sure they are ce­ramic and have been fired to with­stand the heat). Brush the tops with a lit­tle re­main­ing beaten egg and place in the oven to bake for 25 min­utes or un­til they have risen slightly and are golden in colour. Set aside to cool slightly. 3. Driz­zle a lit­tle honey over the top and serve with glacé fruit and fresh figs.

Crisp-skinned Trout with Chorizo and Savoy Cab­bage

Warm Cae­sar Salad with Grilled Pancetta and Poached Duck Egg

Chilled Beet-an­dap­ple Soup with Crème Fraîche and Dill

Baked Ri­cotta with Glacé Fruit and Fresh Figs

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