I hate to admit it here, but I’m not looking forward to autumn – at all! I’m a sun/warmth-aholic. And sitting outside, soaking up the heat, in the middle of summer makes me feel quite ambivalent about writing a column about the joys of autumn. Luckily, this column focuses on one of my great big passions – FOOD – and, more specifically, seasonal fruits and greens. So let’s take a look at the abundance of flavours you can enjoy while the days are getting shorter and colder.
This month is often a transition to true autumn. The weather can be really beautiful and summery in September. And several of the late-summer fruits and vegetables are still in season, so you can keep the sensation of summer in your meals and minds. For veg, enjoy some green beans, rocket salad and courgettes. And for fruits, buy tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. See – still lots of summer feelings in those!
In addition to different sorts of cabbage and early root veggies, September is great for cucumbers, baby leaves, celery, fennel, spring onions, onions, corn, pak choy, rhubarb, radishes and spinach. You can also get cauliflower, celeriac, broccoli, pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, parsley root, leeks and beetroot.
The real bounty of the autumn season begins in October – look out for kale, kohlrabi, turnips and black radishes. You can continue to buy cucumbers, baby leaves, celery, fennel, spring onions, onions, corn, pak choy, rhubarb, radishes, spinach and raspberries. In November, kale continues along with kohlrabi and black radishes. New in November are chicory and Jerusalem artichokes.
Throughout the autumn months, you can find cauliflower, celeriac, broccoli, different sorts of cabbage, pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, carrot, potato, parsnip, parsley root, leek and beetroot.
Apples, plums and pears are ripe for the picking throughout the autumn months. We have many different varieties of these fruits, here in Denmark, and some of them come into season before others. If I had several pages for this column, I could write an entire list of the types and seasons. But ask your local greengrocer or see if you can find a ‘pick-your-own’ farmstead to gather your own.
The aristocratic apple
I must give a shout-out to a very specific type of apple, the most wonderful you’ll ever find. Drum roll, please, for the Rød Ingrid Marie. I admit that my love for this particular apple is probably influenced by an idyllic childhood memory as my grandfather had the most AMAZING apple tree in his garden. Excellent for climbing and sitting on whilst munching on the freshly-picked apples. So, in my mind, nothing has ever been able to beat this specific crispy apple, and I believe it’s the most flavourful one you can find. Try it – I promise you won’t be disappointed. However, if the apple is not crispy and juicy when you take your first bite, then it isn’t fresh and the experience will be absolutely nowhere near as good as it should be. In that case, I withdraw my promise and suggest you get another. But don’t miss out on eating a fresh Rød Ingrid Marie.
Experimenting with veg
During the early autumn months, I find root veggies super-delicious and tasty. There’s so many ways to cook them: you can bake them, use them in a mash, fry them for a slightly healthier alternative to chips, or make a warm creamy soup. But after a while, it’s just not interesting to me any longer. That’s when I have to get creative!
I might grate some root veggies and use them in a home-baked bread. At BioMio, we make a pesto with kale. We make a dip out of beetroot. We bake rhubarb and use it in a goat-cheese salad. To me, using the same veggies in so many different ways helps to brighten up the increasingly colder and darker autumn days.
The season to forage
So get out there and forage for all the wonderful veggies and fruits of autumn. Take the opportunity to go organic and recharge on vitamins and minerals before winter sets in. Until next time, bon appétit!
A self-confessed “food passionist and organic geek since forever”, is the assistant manager at BioMio, Copenhagen’s best known and biggest organic eatery. Founded in 2009 , and located on the always interesting Halmtorvet just outside the vibrant Kødbyen, its finger is on the pulse of what Copenhageners want on their plates: seasonal fare straight from the source with nothing in between.
For four weeks at a time, four times a year, our aim is to give you all the seasonal lifestyle advice you need to thrive in the areas of gardening, health, food and sport. When should you plant your petunias, when does the birch pollen season normally start, which week do the home-grown strawberries take over the supermarket, and which outdoor sports can you play in the snow? All the answers are here in ‘A plan for all seasons’.