Around this time of year, many of us will find ourselves heading into autumn looking back over our shoulders, once again reluctant to let go of summer for another year.
Foodies, on the other hand, are one group who often seem to buck the seasonal moodiness trend. For fans of vivid, earthy vegetables and richly marbled, smoky-sweet proteins, there’s usually a lot to look forward to in what Keats so memorably called the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’.
With so many cheerful, warming, vaguely festive ingredients coming into peak season from August to December, it’s difficult not to look forward to all those deliciously warming autumn recipes - even if you could do without the weather taking a sharp turn first!
Getting creative in the kitchen is the perfect way to keep off the damp, cold and fog of the shorter day. More than in any other season, even the most timid cook can work absolute wonders with a few simple autumn foods.
See below for a couple of our favourite seasonal classics - easy autumn dinner ideas that look far more complicated on the table than they actually were to prepare...
3-4 medium apples - slightly tart varieties are best
1-2 good-sized red onions
Maris Piper potatoes, for mashing or roasting
120ml balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 220°C (for fan assisted ovens, drop the
temperature slightly to 210°C).
Make a balsamic glaze: boil and reduce the vinegar with the maple syrup over a
high heat, until slightly thickened and glossy.
Core and slice the apples into 1/8th pieces, and slice the onion into wedges
around 1cm thick. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat, season lightly, and spread in a single
layer on a baking tray in the bottom of the oven. Roast for 10-15min, or until just starting to
Line another tray or roasting dish with foil, and place the tenderloins in the
middle. Brush with 1/3 of the balsamic glaze, and cook for 10min in the top of the oven (or the
hotter compartment of your range cooker).
Remove, brush with 1/3 of the glaze again. Return to cook for another
10-15min, placing the apples and onions on the bottom shelf again as you do.
When the pork is cooked through (juices run clear) and the apples and onion
are softened and starting to crisp at the edges, remove everything from the oven and rest the
meat for 10min under foil.
Slice into inch-thick rounds, pile a heaped spoonful of apple and onion on
top, and drizzle with the remaining glaze. Serve with mash or roast potatoes, and green beans if