I’ve always been sensitive to seasonal transitions. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve registered the subtle shift from full blown summer to the beckoning of autumn – evenings shortening, the heat of the sun losing its intensity, the change in the quality of light.
September 1st marks the beginning of autumn on the meteorological calendar. School restarts next week and a new academic year begins.
It has been an uncharacteristically warm summer here and to mark its close, this recipe is an ode to the salads I am saying goodbye to for now.
Blackberries are a quintessential transition food. Out foraging a couple of weeks ago, I picked blackberries still tart and supremely sweet from the same bush. I’ll move from using them raw in a fruity vinaigrette like this one, to cooking them in pies and tarts as the weather changes.
This is a quick and easy put it together in a flash lunch that I’ve been eating with crispbread.
INGREDIENTS 100g soft goats cheese
50g hazelnuts and almonds, chopped
A scattering of mixed leaves
For the vinaigrette
A handful of blackberries
2 tbsp chopped, fresh basil
Pinch of cardamom
2 tbsp honey
A glug of olive oil
Juice of half a lime
Roll the goats cheese in the nuts to create a coating and arrange on a plate with a scattering of leave.
For the vinaigrette, pulse all of the ingredients in a blender until combined – rough and rustic or smooth depending on your taste. Adjust the levels of lime and honey according to your taste. Drizzle over the salad.