What’s best to eat this September?
We are really enjoying the early September sunshine in the Channel Islands. It is very pleasant to lunch outside. I think everyone is trying to do familiar, comfortable things, moving slowly back to normal. As well as the good weather we are blessed with an abundance of fantastic local ingredients. There are lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed herbs and salad leaves. There are plenty of summer vegetable, peas, beans, and courgettes to eat. Try tossing together with a little white crab meat and some lemon vinaigrette for a great salad. Or top with grilled goat’s cheese for a tasty vegetarian alternative.
This is the time of year for the arrival of the first game. If you are lucky enough to live near a shoot and game is a lean, good value source of protein. It’s the time for foraged wild mushrooms, but please don’t pick any without suitable advice. September is the peak of the British mushroom season which are so incredibly versatile in the kitchen. It is also the season for shellfish mussels, oysters, and scallops, and we are lucky the waters around Jersey are perfect for fishing for all of these as they are some of my favourite ingredients.
Summer cauliflowers are still excellent quality are delicious grilled. Try served in a vegan coconut based curry or as a healthy substitute for rice. Main crop potatoes varieties such as Cara, Maris Piper and King Edwards are coming into harvest. They are great for chipping, roasting and baking.
And British fruit is probably at its most varied with abundant varieties of apples, plums, and pears. There is also still time to enjoy the last of the fresh raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and apricots. Finally, it is time to head to the hedgerows and go wild blackberry ( bramble ) pickling.
Seasonal Eatings – What’s best to eat this September
Vegetables and Salad
The last of the summer crops of salad ingredients such as radishes, beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, baby spinach, and salad leaves are still readily available. Broccoli, carrots, onions, fennel, globe artichokes, aubergines, and sweetcorn are all now in season. Basil, chives, coriander, oregano, mint, curly and flat parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, thyme are all in season to add bags of flavour to your cooking.
The first of the delicious autumn and winter vegetables are starting to be harvested. So look out at your greengrocers soon for Brussels sprouts, turnips, leeks, Swiss chard, kale and winter cabbages. Pumpkins, celeriac, Butternut squash are coming into season. All are delicious roasted or pureed in soups. Finally, main crop potatoes are ready for great mash, chips and roast potatoes.
Rabbit, grouse, partridge, guinea fowl, wood pigeon, and wild duck are all available from good butchers. Goose and venison are coming in season and older season lamb is now available.
Fish and Shellfish
Mussels, oysters, and scallops are now much better quality after the summer spawning. Freshly caught fish will include cod, haddock, mackerel, and sea bass. Also, in plentiful supply is salmon, sardines, and crab, should you get a good price think about freezing some of the white meat.
Should you live near any elderberry bushes that were not harvested as elderflowers, they should be ripe and ready to pick. Figs, plums, chestnuts, cobnuts, pears, and apples including Bramley cooking apples, are all coming into season, as are damsons and greengages, great for jam and watch out for sloes which makes excellent gin.