Based on the meteorological or Gregorian calendar from 1582 autumn runs from first of September through to 30 November. The season is kept in whole months to simplify data collection making it easier to compare one season to another and to monitor the changing climatology.
Autumn is often seen as the transition into winter. Shorter days means less sunlight, consequently less photosynthesis, so plants restrict chlorophyll production, as there is little need for it. Leaves on plants and trees turn brown as a result, and they hunker down to survive the winter off their energy stores. The inevitable drift towards winter doesn’t mean complete shutdown however, with some fresh produce just coming on form:
Similar in shape to the swede the rough, brown corm of celeriac (sometimes called celery root) has lots of small rootlets around the base. Granted it’s not the best looking veg in the world. However, undeterred by looks one celeriac wholesaler in the UK, Jack Buck farms in Spalding, Lincolnshire, decided to make a feature of its appearance and named their brand, ‘The Ugly One’. Their bold move worked, and they now produce 400 acres a year, among another few wholesalers.
Celeriac is a variety of the more familiar celery plant. Celeriac consists of a bulbous root (celeriac), the stalks (which look like a smaller and thinner version of celery) and the leaves (leaf celery). The celeriac root and stalks are used in Western cooking, but leaf celery is more often used in East Asian dishes.
Cut away the thick skin of the root to reveal the firm, crisp white or ivory flesh underneath. The raw taste is a combination of celery, aniseed, and fennel. The classic French dish, celeri remoulade, is a great way to use the vegetable raw, grated and mixed with mayonnaise Dijon mustard and lemon juice - like an upmarket coleslaw – just don’t describe it to a Frenchman that way! It can be topped with chopped parsley, capers, or a julienne of Granny Smith apple to contrast the sweetness of the root. Like some other white root veg the exposed flesh will brown quickly when exposed to air. Dressing it straight away or keeping it in a bowl of water with lemon juice will stop this.
Cooked celeriac has a similar texture to cooked potato, whether cooked by boiling, steaming, roasting, or frying. The cooked flavour is less pronounced than raw but still has a sweet, nutty, and earthy quality, tasting of celery, parsley, and fennel. Mashed or puréed celeriac is always a popular side dish, especially when in combination with another mashed root veg.
Celery root was consumed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks who used the root for medicinal and religious purposes. Celery root then achieved culinary importance during the Middle Ages and was first recorded as an ingredient in France in the 17th century.
The Jerusalem artichoke, or sunchoke as it’s known in the US, is the edible tuber of a variety of sunflower. Jerusalem artichokes are originally native to North America, where they were cultivated by indigenous tribes who named them “sunroots”. Jerusalem artichokes are now cultivated mainly in the south of France.
The tubers, which grow underground, have the appearance of root ginger and are usually 7 to 10cm long. The flesh under the tan coloured skin is ivory in colour, with a crunchy texture like water chestnut, as well as a sweet, nutty, and earthy flavour. Vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes grow underground tubers as a way of storing carbohydrate through the winter, when photosynthesis isn’t available. Jerusalem artichokes are unusual in that they only contain inulin, a carbohydrate used for storing energy. During digestion the inulin acts to control blood sugar leading some diabetics to label the Jerusalem artichoke: ‘the potato of diabetics’. On the downside inulin has a reputation for causing gut bacteria to create plenty of wind during digestion, leading to the inevitable fartichokes. Not a first date veg. then! Otherwise, dig in!
Jerusalem artichokes work well raw in salads, as well as boiled, roasted, braised, sautéed, or stir-fried. Rather like parsnips their flavour really comes through best when cooked in oil or fat. The cooked texture is waxy rather like a young new potato and there is no need to peel them, which adds extra flavour. Just ensure they are well scrubbed before cooking. Jerusalem artichoke soup is worth a mention just for the incredibly smooth, silky texture you get after blitzing it.
Jerusalem artichokes as a side dish pair well with strong flavours such as garlic, lemon, thyme, rosemary, mushroom, game, and lamb.
Often confused with a root vegetable kohlrabi is in fact a stem, which has the appearance of a turnip. The name translates from German as kohl(cabbage) & rabi(turnip. As a vegetable it is popular in Germany, Hungary northern France, Italy, and Asia. In the UK at first appears in record books during the 1500s. Then it was transported to the United States about 300 years later.
Both kohlrabi and purple kohlrabi have a smooth, round bulbous stem which is approximately 8 to 10 cm across with leafy greens growing out of the top. There is little difference between the green and purple varieties, apart from the colour of the skin. The skin is chopped away or peeled to expose the flesh underneath, which is white and dense. The flesh has a mild flavour like cabbage and the leafy part of the stem can be cooked and served like any other leaf vegetable.
Kohlrabi is renowned for its versatility and can be used in many cooked dishes and salads.
Roasting or sautéing, after steaming for a short time, with garlic and olive oil brings out the sweetness and it still retains a little crunch. For a milder flavour puréeing it after boiling creates a smooth vegetable dish that can be combined with other similar veg.
Kohlrabi is very popular served in salads, coleslaws, and remoulade. It can be grated or thinly sliced, as required. When raw some people think of the flavour as a combination of broccoli, cabbage, and cucumber.
Other October veg include: kale, chard, celery, leeks, swede, turnip and winter squashes & pumpkins
October fruits include: apples, blackberries, quince, pears
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-58664556 seasonal workers