My List of the Best Things to Eat in September
My September seasonal eats – We are enjoying the early September sunshine in the Channel Islands. Unfortunately, the longer-range weather forecast is not quite so appealing. However, it is still warm enough to enjoy lunch outside and there are lots of fantastic local ingredients. There are lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed herbs and leaves and plenty of summer vegetable, peas, beans, and courgettes to eat. Tossed together with a little white crab meat and some lemon vinaigrette or topped with some goats cheese they make a great salad.
This is the time of year for the arrival of the first game if you are lucky enough to live near a shoot, and for foraged wild mushrooms, but please don’t pick any without suitable advice. It is also the season for shellfish mussels, oysters, and scallops, and we are lucky the waters around Jersey are perfect for all of these as they are some of my favourite ingredients.
And fruit is probably at its most varied with abundant varieties of apples, plums, and pears and there is 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.
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, pheasant, 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.