The Gousto Calendar: September
The days are getting just a little bit shorter and the wind is getting just that tiny bit brisker. It’s September all right and although Summer will soon be over, the best seasonal produce is still to come. September is all about harvesting, foraging and storing up for winter and that’s definitely reflected in the produce that’s at its best right now.
As ever, the big news is blackberries. Delicious and completely free, they’re practically a national pastime. Hoards of people of all ages turn out every weekend of the season (which lasts until October) to scrump away in their local hedgerows before returning home to wash, bottle and bake their delicious loot.
Blackberries are the perfect filling for all the best bakes of the autumn: crumbles and pies are the most obvious, but blackberry jam and even blackberry gin are both delicious and super satisfying to make, even if they are difficult to get right! It’s worth noting that blackberries are low in pectin so any would-be jam makers might have to consider using a thickening agent to lend a helping hand.
The good news doesn’t stop there: the wet and warm summer we had this year has led to a bumper crop of blackberries, so don’t be shy about getting out and about harvesting this month: there’s more than enough to keep the birds happy and to make a few pies too!
But blackberries are not the only fruit: Apples and plums are on the scene too, ready to lend themselves to all your baking and preserving needs, so save a few of your blackberries to make a delicious crumble with the new seasons apples or to try your hand at plum and blackberry jam.
September is the season for green vegetables too. Both courgettes and green beans will be at their best this month. Courgettes are creamy but firm in texture and have a very simple, delicate flavour that makes them compatible with everything, so we love courgettes in curries or as part of a roasted vegetable medley.
You can also pair them with garlic and tomatoes in an omelette or raw in a salad with a lemony dressing or grilled with chilli and melted cheese on top. In fact, they’re so versatile we could do anything with them. Viva la courgette!
String beans are another excellent autumnal vegetable. They’re so delicious eaten raw and snapped straight from the plant that we almost forgot how delicious they could be served with Sunday roast. To maintain the super satisfying crunch of raw beans, simply steam the beans for 5 minutes to retain maximum taste and texture.
So grab a cardigan, a charming wicker basket and possibly some wellingtons: it won’t be long until blustery September blurs into chilly October and it will be time to snuggle up at home making soup again!