These two delicious autumnal recipes come from Gather, the first cookbook of River Cottage head chef Gill Meller. The celeriac, kale and cobnut (that's hazelnut to us in this part of the world) soup and simple but strikingly good fried pear and roasted red onion salad, strewn with crisped puy lentils, are included in the book's 120 seasonal, landscape-driven recipes.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s right hand man needs no introduction for River Cottage’s many fans — he has been with the team for the past 11 years, appearing regularly on the UK TV shows and teaching at the Devon/Dorset-based cookery school.
Now Gill is on his way here — next month launching the cookbook and wowing a very lucky few over a special weekend.
Set at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, from June 2-4, the weekend features an informal fireside reading of the book with Gill over a glass of wine (nice), a cooking class where Gill will prepares some of his favourite dishes from the book and then, in the evening, a five-course gourmet tasting menu based on recipes from the book, matched to Alpha Domus wines.
If you have a special birthday or anniversary coming up we suggest leaving this page open somewhere prominent. For more, capekidnappers.com
Fried pears with roast red onions and crisped puy lentils
This colourful, early autumn salad is so easy. Sometimes all you need to make a lovely supper are three well matched ingredients. Choose ripe pears, but not overripe, as you want them to fry in the hot pan without breaking up too much.
My obsession with crispy lentils began at River Cottage, and I'm loving them lots right now. We must love them together, because they are just outrageously good, and here lend real crunch. Get the recipe
Cobnut (hazelnut) and celeriac soup with kale, parsley and olive oil
Cobnuts (hazelnuts) bring an unexpected dimension to this gorgeous soup. They’re fresh and fleshy and their flavour, being delicate and sweet, works beautifully with robust kale and earthy celeriac.
If you're making your own stock, make sure it's really tasty before you add it to the rest of the soup ingredients. That way you're guaranteed the most amazing results. I like to slip in some toasted sourdough or other good country-style bread to the bowls before bringing to the table. Get the recipe
This is an edited extract from Gather by Gill Meller, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $55, and available in stores nationwide.