Bestselling cookbook author Melissa Hemsley shares five easy foods to plant this autumn and recipes to try with them:
It’s September so in order to get cracking straight away, your best bet is to get small plants or ask for ‘plug plants’ from your local garden centre or this online company https://www.organicplants.co.uk/.
And one tip before you start: most importantly as I’ve learnt oh too well – don’t be too enthusiastic with watering. To check, test the compost with your finger, you want it just moist. Follow my friend and gardening guru @annagreenland for more garden tips and we’ll be making some gardening videos soon for your green fingered inspiration – but in the mean time, read my beginners guide to growing your own edible garden.
Fried eggs and sage is a winner. Or roast up a load of veg and make a sage pesto to drizzle on top as the base for a packed lunch. Or try this amazing squash and crispy sage soup.
Shred the leaves and fry with garlic and chilli. I love a winter coleslaw with kale and apples.
I especially love the beautiful rainbow chard ; pick the outer leaves first and finely chop the stems. These spinach are hardier than summer versions and ideal for making saag paneer (my kind of comfort food).
Rosemary & Thyme
Make up a big batch of bean soup with lots of rosemary, garlic and onions, some good quality veg or chicken broth then add some cooked borlotti; add some greens; simmer away until tender and top with parmesan and olive oil.
Buy small plants like mustard greens, pak choi, lamb’s lettuce and winter purslane which will endure the cold. And chicory – a fantastic slightly bitter salad leaf, perfect with French style mustard dressing.