“Autumn is one of the most exciting seasons for fresh, local produce. With so many versatile fruits and vegetables available, it’s a great time to get creative in the kitchen,” says Bianca.
As the weather cools down, my family and I will be getting back into the slow-cooked meals, curries and multi-layer cooking which we all really love.”
To help inspire you to make the most of your menu this autumn, Bianca has put together a list of some of her favourite autumn superstars in terms of seasonal produce, as well as some tips on how to make the most of each of them. You might be surprised as they’re neither complex nor rare, but Bianca says it’s what you do with them that matters.
A classic seasonal vegetable for the cooler months, pumpkin is a must-have for your autumn cooking as it is just so versatile, pairing perfectly with savoury and sweet flavour combinations.
You can’t go wrong with a timeless, homemade pumpkin soup – maybe with some Thai or Moroccan flavours added in. Get creative with Pumpkin and ricotta cannelloni or desserts like Pumpkin donuts or Spiced pumpkin palmiers.
Get all of BHG’s pumpkin recipes here, including roast pumpkin, heirloom tomato and feta salad (above).
Lamb is just so beautiful when it’s slow-cooked that it’s probably my favourite meat over autumn. It’s hard to go past succulent lamb shanks or slow-cooked lamb shoulder, which we can do so easily.
Lamb is also the perfect meat to sous-vide – so all the flavour and nutritional benefits are locked in. These days sous-vide (a technique where food is vacuum-packed and cooked in a water bath at precise temperatures) isn’t just for chefs, you can nail it at home with the right tools.
The Thermomix TM6 has both a slow-cook and a sous-vide mode, making every day cooking, as well as those special occasion meals, so much easier and more delicious.
I know – what’s to get excited about with apples? But again I love them for their versatility and autumn is the peak season for Aussie apples.
Think about adding apples to salads as a side dish to salmon or pork, or even just a chopped vegetable salad for a light lunch.
For dessert, I often have stewed apples with lots of spices ready to go – the kids love it with yoghurt or ice cream. Apple cake is traditional in Poland, which is where my family comes from, so they’re pretty common in our household too.
Figs are so special because we don’t get to eat them all the time and they are at their peak right now. We enjoy them from breakfast through to dinner in different combinations!
I love combining fig with salty savoury flavours, like with prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil in salads or on pizzas.
Also, figs with gorgonzola and balsamic onions is totally delicious, if you like blue cheese. At breakfast, we often have them fresh with granola and yoghurt or with pancakes.
Mushrooms are nutrient power-houses, and the cooler weather brings with it a wider range of varieties, particularly wild mushrooms including saffron milk caps and slippery Jacks, so they’re well worth getting into.
I love mushrooms in hearty meals like creamy mushroom pasta and or something a bit special, like mushroom risotto with truffle. I also like to gently sauté them and have them with poached eggs or tossed through a salad for a light lunch.
A delicious Mushroom and white wine cream sauce is a recent favourite. It is literally fool-proof, even when you have two kids to entertain at the same time!
I love the rich, earthy flavour of beetroot and I find it goes well with so many dishes. Try it in a simple chopped salad with carrot vincotto dressing and Danish feta – really tasty. Another favourite is our Steamed beetroot with creamy walnut sauce.
It’s such a beautiful side dish in autumn but also as a stand-alone salad. Then there’s meat-free burgers and beetroot chocolate brownies. Can’t forget those!
Use this autumn to buy seasonally, enjoy local produce and get a little creative in the kitchen. With smart, connected appliances and guided cooking recipes ready at your fingertips, creating something incredible in the kitchen has never been so easy.
All the recipes Bianca mentions here are available through the Thermomix online guided cooking platform, Cookidoo.com.au, with over 40,000 recipes to choose from.