On a crisp autumn evening when the clouds clear, seize the moment and hold a party in the garden. In the cooler months, when you're armed with warm rugs and trays of delicious goods, the garden is still a gorgeous place to be — and who knows when we'll be able to enjoy it again. Right now though, the bonfire's lit, and it's time to pass around the food. Raise a glass to autumn during a beautiful bonfire party with some exciting botanical-inspired dishes. These 3 recipes are a great alternative to traditional fare.
We’re between two great moments on the food calendar: the romance of summer evening barbecues, and the magic of Christmas feasts. Autumn is a season that requires its own approach, with woolly hats and gloves. In the days leading up to Bonfire Night, host an easy gathering around a small blaze with a good drink in your hand, food in your belly and the flickering firelight casting a warm glow.
Recipe: vegetarian tart
This is a contemporary veggie variation on the familiar and delicious tarte flambée from Alsace. Featuring autumnal ingredients for a rustic, seasonal flavour, it's an excellent starting point to a great evening.
What you need for 1 tart
- 1 cauliflower pizza base (ready-made or making yourself)
- 1-2 figs (cut into sections)
- 150 grams feta cheese
- handful of mixed salad (rocket/oakleaf lettuce or mizuna)
- 1/2 red onion (cut into thin rings)
- 1 tsp freshly chopped sage**
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the cauliflower pizza base
- 1/2 cauliflower
- 1 egg
- 50 grams grated cheese
- Pepper and salt
How to make it
Prepare the cauliflower pizza in accordance with the instructions on the packaging or make your own cauliflower base*. While the pizza is in the oven, sweat the onions until they start to colour slightly. Cut the figs into sections and tear the sage into moderately sized pieces. As soon as the cauliflower pizza base is ready, scatter the salad generously across the base, and lavishly crumble the feta and onions over the top. Distribute the fig segments together with the sage leaves, and finish the pizza with a generous sprinkling of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
*How to make the cauliflower pizza base:
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the cauliflower into rosettes and wash them. Finely grate the cauliflower or use a food processor, then cook it in the microwave for five minutes, and then squeeze it thoroughly using a clean tea towel. Be careful with your hands - the cauliflower can be very hot! Mix the cooked cauliflower with the egg and the grated cheese, then line a baking tray with baking parchment and spread the mixture across the baking tray using the round side of a spoon. This ensures that you have a thin and even base. Bake the base for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Recipe: grilled peaches with lavender flowers
After a busy day it's wonderful to eat something so deliciously sweet and juicy. Indulge in this fragrant treat, conjuring up memories of sun and charred bonfire flavours.
What you need (serves 4)
- 4 sizeable peaches
- 40 grams butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 200 grams sour cream
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lavender flowers**
- Freshly ground pepper
How to make it
Mix the lavender flowers with the honey. Melt the butter and mix with the sugar. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and spread the butter mixture on the each side. Place the peaches on the hot brazier or grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side, making sure they don’t burn. If necessary, raise the height of the grill. Place the fruit on a plate and drizzle over sour cream and lavender honey. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Recipe: spicy ginger and lemon cider with dahlia
- 250 ml cider (possibly with lemon or ginger flavour)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 edible dahlia petals**
How to make it
Briefly chill a cocktail glass in the freezer beforehand. Depending on the type of cider, you can add further flavour to the drink with lemon (fresh), ginger (spicy) and dahlia flowers (for a delicious hint of bitters). The cinnamon stick is used as a stirrer and lends a hint of autumn to your creation. Cheers!
**One more thing: never tuck in to just any old (cut) flower or plant; only use edible flowers from specialist suppliers that have been grown for human consumption.