Come in from the cold to the comfort of autumn cooking.

From satisfying soups and slow-cooked caramelised beef and stout stews to comforting apple crumbles with hedgerow blackberries, this season’s food is perfect for sharing with friends as the nights start drawing in.

Pile a selection of ripe cheeses on a large wooden sharing board and surround with autumnal fruit – crisp apple, ripe figs, purple and green grapes, and soft dried apricots – and pair with crackers or hunks of fresh bread. It’s the perfect accompaniment to wine and good conversation!

And salads aren’t just for summer, either. Roasted butternut squash is perfect paired with caramlised figs and soft feta or goats cheese for a flavour-packed unusual salad that’s delicious warm or cold.

Here’s one for you to try at home:


Roasted squash, fig and feta salad – serves 4



1 butternut squash, sliced – no need to peel

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup runny honey

Fresh thyme leaves

16 fresh ripe figs, halved

2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp orange zest

1 bag rocket

4 oz feta or goats cheese

1 pomegranate



Preheat oven to 200°C.

Whisk together three tablespoons of the olive oil with the honey, a good sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves, and a pinch of salt flakes. Toss the butternut squash slices in the mixture and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add the halved figs. Toss to coat with the oil and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the figs have caramelized.

Whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, more thyme leaves, orange zest, and season to taste.

Place the rocket in a large bowl. Arrange the roasted squash and figs on top. Crumble over the cheese and scatter pomegranate seeds on top. Drizzle with the salad dressing.