The perfect rich food to welcome winter

moked mackerel with roast butternut and pumpkin salad. Picture; contributed

moked mackerel with roast butternut and pumpkin salad. Picture; contributed

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WITH summer fading fast and winter just around the corner, thoughts turn to warming comfort food rich in vibrant autumnal flavours and colours. But comfort food doesn’t have to mean stodge.

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Picture; contributed

Picture; contributed

Hearty soups with artisan bread, slow cooked stews, succulent roast dinners with root vegetables, pan roasted honey glazed Loch Duart trout with caper, chilli and red onion marmalade, stewed fruit crumbles...the list of culinary

options is endless.

My favourite ingredients right now are butternut and pumpkin which are wonderfully versatile, even working well in an autumn salad.

And it seems I’m not alone.

Dine’s Peterhead smoked mackerel salad with roast butternut and pumpkin, served with a hearty green lentil salsa, is fast becoming our top seller.

RECIPE ONE – Smoked mackerel with roast butternut and pumpkin salad with agreen lentil salsa

• 2 Smoked Mackerel

• 1 butternut squash

• 1/4 french pumpkin

• 100g Puy Lentils

• 1 shallot

• 70ml Sherry Vinegar

• Parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon chopped.

• 100g Pumpkin seeds

• Bitter leaves (radicchio, frizze, watercress, red endive)

• 8 sprigs of thyme

• 2 bay leaves

• Half garlic bulb

• French dressing (dijon mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar)

Method:

Peel skin off of the Mackerel, portion into 4 pieces with each fillet. Peel

skin off of both the Pumpkin and butternut, scoop out the seeds with a spoon

and roughly dice. Roast at 180c with olive oil, half the thyme and salt and

until soft and just starting to go brown. Set aside and cool.

Cook Puy Lentils in water, bay, thyme and the garlic. Cook until tender,

keep an eye on them as they can go mushy! Chop the shallot and herbs. After

the Lentils are cooked, cool down and mix the herbs and shallot through the

Lentils. Season with salt and sherry Vinegar. Assemble the dish with Lentils

and squash at the bottom your plate, place Mackerel on top. Dress leaves and

scatter.

RECIPE TWO - Farewell to Summer cocktail

Ingredients:

37.5 ml Darnleys View Spiced Gin

10 ml Benedictine

30 ml Sweet Butternut Pumpkin Puree

1/2 Muddled Fig

10 ml Lemon Juice

Pinch cinnamon.

Add ice to blender with ingredients, blended until puréed. Pour into a coupette glass. Enjoy with whipped cream (if desired!)

Award-winning chef Stuart Muir is co-owner of Edinburgh brasserie, cocktail lounge and bar, Dine. Dine, Saltire Court, 10 (1F) Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED. www.dineedinburgh.co.uk 0131 218 1818