A couple of weeks ago we had booked to go away to Dorset for a long weekend - a lovely romantic get away in a shepherd's hut with plans to do lots of lovely long walks along the coast - we were so looking forward to it. We arrived on the Friday afternoon in a downpour but the shepherd's hut was lovely, and we spent that evening in the village pub, The Square & Compass in Worth Matravers. It is complete time warp, untouched by modern trappings, has fantastic cider and pasties beautifully served on a paper plate! The following morning we were woken by torrential rain on our tin roof at 5am, and the weather was forecast to get worse as the weekend progressed - ideas of long coastal walks were dashed, and a shepherd's hut is a very small place to spend 3 wet days so we lost enthusiasm and decided to bail. Luckily it's always lovely to get home!
Autumn weather can be a bit like that, and we have certainly had a lot of rain in the last few weeks, but I still just love this time of year. Autumn colours are the best and there is no better display of that than a mound of the many different varieties of pumpkins and squash. I often have a few of the smaller ones on the kitchen table as decoration at this time of year.
One of my customers, lovely Caroline Wrench, is a fantastic cook who runs relaxed cooking and flower workshops from her home in Wiltshire - she also happens to use lots of Fino goodies in the food that she cooks so it must be good - do check out her website if you feel like treating yourself or a friend to a fun day out www.cocoandroses.co.uk. This autumnal dish that Caroline created is my idea of heaven and she very kindly said I could share it - the photo is hers too!
ROASTED SQUASH, HALLOUMI & PUY LENTIL SALAD - Serves 4
Prep time 10 mins Cooking time 35 mins approx
1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed and thinly sliced), 1 sliced clove garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 pack of halloumi (drained and thinly sliced), 1 pack of ready cooked puy lentils, finely chopped pistachio nuts, finely chopped parsley, zest of 1 lemon, olive oil, white balsamic
Roast the butternut squash with 1 tbsp on olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper for approx 30 minutes, until cooked. Heat a frying pan over a low heat and fry halloumi slices, until golden-brown. Heat through puy lentils following instructions on back of packet. Using a large flat dish, pour lentils out and arrange roasted squash and halloumi over the top. Dress with olive oil & white balsamic and scatter chopped pistachios, parsley & lemon zest.
Delicious as an accompaniment to meat or fish, or great as meal on its own
Those of you who have tried Fino White Balsamic know just how delicious it is. For those of you who haven't yet had it maybe this has given you inspiration, in which case why not take this opportunity to treat yourself (or someone else) - as a Halloween treat I am offering 10% off individual bottles of White Balsamic until 5pm on Thursday 31st - at that point I have to be ready for trick or treaters! To get the discount enter HALLOWEEN at the checkout