Roasted Autumn Vegetable Plait

Now we are into September, I think we can officially break out the Autumn recipes. While it might not be time for scarves, gloves and thick coats, I am definitely thinking of all things Fall.

With cooler temperatures and squashes and pumpkins arriving into the shops, my thoughts turn to roasts, soups, stews and casseroles. One of my favourite ways of cooking vegetables is to roast them and with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, autumn and winter vegetables really taste at their very best.

Kale

This vegetable plait consists of roasted seasonal vegetables, deep green Cavolo Nero, together with fragrant, woody herbs, chestnuts and blue cheese. They all go exceptionally well together and form a perfect vegetarian dinner dish. It’s also really good served cold the next day with salad, or in a lunchbox.

Autumn veg plait

Ingredients:
1 small Acorn or Queen squash, or a small butternut squash, washed, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 small red onions, halved and sliced
Small bunch of Cavolo Nero, washed, ribs removed and roughly torn up
Small bunch of Sage, rolled and cut into very fine strips
1 tbs Thyme leaves, chopped
200g Blue cheese like Stilton, rind removed and broken into fairly large crumbles
1 Pack of vacuum packed chestnuts, broken up a little
Puff pastry – either home-made or shop bought and rolled into a rectangle (approx 35cmx23cm)
Olive oil
Butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Egg and a little milk for brushing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

Rub the squash with 1tbs of olive oil, 1tsp salt and ½tsp pepper and place on a baking tray and roast until tender and just catching at the edges. This will take around 30 minutes. When ready, allow to cool.

While the squash is roasting, gently sauté the onions in a small knob of butter, a little oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, translucent and golden. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. In the same pan, add a little more butter, the kale and a tbs of water. Stir around until it has wilted a little.

Place the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and cut thick strips around the edge, leaving a centre rectangle intact.

Autumn veg plait1

Gently, mix together the squash, kale, chestnuts, cheese, sage and thyme and place onto the pastry. It should be fairly compact as you are going to wrap the strips of pasty around it to form a parcel.

Brush the strips with a little of the egg wash and fold over the ends first and then alternate side strips until the filling is encased. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or overnight if you are making ahead.

Autumn veg plait slice

When you are ready to bake, brush the egg wash all over the pastry and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Autumn veg slice

Bring on Autumn, I love it!

Veggie Burgers (and veggie nuggets)

These are great made with fresh vegetables and even better if you grow your own.  However, you can also make with frozen veg for a cheap and easy meal that’s full of flavour.

burger

Ingredients:
1 cup sweetcorn
1 cup broad beans
1 cup of peas
1 medium sized carrot – grated
½ sweet potato – grated
1 onion – grated
½ cup of tinned or pre-soaked, cooked and cooled red kidney beans
¼ cup plain/all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup oats
1 small bunch of coriander/cilantro or basil
1 tsp Cajun spice
1tsp salt
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying

For Serving:
Toasted burger buns or flatbreads
Salad leaves
Swiss cheese slices
Relishes and sauces
Sweet potato fries

Method:
Put everything in the food processor and roughly pulse together.  Don’t over-blend as the mixture will be too wet and sticky.

Scrape the ingredients into a bowl and put in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF

When the mixture is firm, form your burgers or nuggets and lightly coat with flour, tapping off any excess.

Gently sauté your burgers or nuggets until lightly browned on either side.  This should take 2-3 minutes each side.

Place the burgers on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.  While they are cooking, toast the burger buns in the pan, or place the flatbreads in the oven for a couple of minutes.

Build the burgers with whatever sauces are your favourite.  My burger has classic ketchup, swiss cheese and lettuce.  The nuggets are in a flatbread with plenty of hot sauce!

nuggets2

These burgers and nuggets are a delicious on their own, but even better served with sweet potato fries.

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes – allow 1 per person for a large potion
1 tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp Cajun seasoning
½ tsp cayenne (optional to make them extra spicy)
1-2 tbs olive oil

Method:
Mix the salt and spices together – adjust quantities to taste

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into long thin fries – around 1cm x 1cm and place in a large bowl.

Prepare a baking sheet with a non-stick liner, or use a non-stick pan and pre-heat the oven to as high as it will go – 250ºC/500ºF

Toss the sweet potato fries in the oil, using your hands to fully coat them all over, sprinkle over the spices and salt and toss again to make sure all the fries have a good coating of oil and seasonings.

Spread out on the baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd and place in the hot oven.  Reduce the temperature to 220ºC/425ºF and turn several times for even cooking.  They will take around 25 to 30 minutes to cook and become crisp and just catching on the ends, be careful not to let them burn.

Summer Vegetable and Goats Cheese Wellington

Super easy to make – summer vegetables and goats cheese encased in puff pastry.  A tasty and filling lunch dish, that is good hot or cold and served with lots of salad.

Roast Veg parcel

Ingredients:
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks
2 small courgettes/zucchini, halved lengthways and cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1tbs dried oregano
1 pack of chestnut/cremini mushrooms, chopped
½ clove garlic microplaned (optional)
Small bag of baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 tbs Thyme leaves, chopped
Goat cheese, such as chevre, roughly broken up into crumbles
Puff pastry – either home made or shop bought and rolled into a rectangle
1 tbs butter
1tbs olive oil
1tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Egg and a little milk for brushing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

Roasted veg

Toss the peppers, courgettes and onions in half the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and roast until tender and the edges starting to brown. This will take around 30 minutes. Leave to cool

In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms on a medium heat in the butter and olive oil with the garlic until golden. Remove and using the same pan, add the spinach and sauté for another minute or two until wilted and leave to cool.

Place the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and cut thick strips around the edge, leaving the centre intact.

Mix together all the vegetables and thyme and place onto the pastry, topping with the goats cheese.

Brush the strips with a little of the egg wash and fold over the ends first and then alternate side strips until the filling is encased. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or overnight if you are making ahead.

When you are ready to bake, brush the egg wash all over the pastry and bake for around 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.

Roasted veg parcel sice