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A white oval platter topped with slices of tomato and topped with grilled sardines

14 September recipes

Published: September 7, 2021 at 3:16 pm
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Be inspired to make the most of September's best ingredients, from floral, crisp apples to deeply sweet figs and squidgy plums

Want to know what’s in season in September? Looking for September recipe ideas? September is a great month for British fish and seafood – make the most of local, sustainable catches while they’re at their best.

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We’ve asked the experts what we should be eating and what will be on their menus this month. Rick and Katie Toogood, co-owners of Prawn on the Lawn, fishmonger-restaurants in both London and Padstow, serve local and sustainable fish and seafood in tapas-style dishes.

They shared their favourite things to cook with in September and what to look out for when choosing seafood this month, which is the inspiration for these recipes. Their popular cookbook, Prawn on the Lawn: Fish and Seafood to Share (£18.99, Pavilion) is being reissued this year.


Apples

There are more than 2,500 varieties of apple, ranging from extremely tart and perfect for cooking, to floral, crisp, red, yellow and green. When buying, look for firm fruit with unblemished skin.

Toffee apple crumble

Think classic, comforting crumble, only taken up a few notches with crunchy hazelnut and a coating of rich caramel over the soft chunks of apple.

a pink bowl filled with caramel-coloured chunks of apple topped with crushed hazelnut

Plums

A seasonal stone fruit, plums come in many different flavours and colours. When looking for ripeness, give them a gentle squeeze – they should have a little give and not be too hard.

Plum and pistachio frangipane tart

Squidgy plums and crunchy pistachios are a match made in heaven in this impressive tart. Use a shop-bought block of shortcrust pastry if you don't fancy making your own.

a plum tart on a peach plate with an olive green napkin

Pears

There are thousands of pear varieties but the most commonly found ones are Conference, Comice, Red William and Concorde. When buying, look for pears that have a little give at the top or bottom – they ripen from the inside out – and avoid any with bruising or mushiness.

Calvados-poached pears with cardamom custard and sesame brittle

Make a calvados and perry syrup to poach pears in and serve with sweet-savoury sesame brittle and lashings of silky cardamom-infused custard for a stylish autumnal pud.

plated filled with poached pear with a pot of custard and green linen napkin

Figs

Originating in Asia but grown across the Mediterranean, these fruits are plump and deeply sweet. They’re very delicate so, when buying, look for unblemished skin and an oval shape.

Fig cake

Mix soft, squidgy fig halves with sugar and marsala then bake them into a vanilla and almond sponge for a cake that's perfect alongside a cuppa.

A cake topped with baked sliced figs on a beige stone plate

Fig cookies

These pretty oat cookies, topped with fanned-out fig slices, are easy to make and only take 25 minutes to whip up – ideal for feeding last-minute visitors.

A wire rack topped with fig cookies on a grey background

Red mullet

“Easily our favourite fish when caught fresh, and this is the key to buying sustainably. The scales should be intact, with a bright red colour. This will indicate that the fish has been caught within a day or two, which proves freshness and that it has been caught by a smaller day boat. Gillnetted or otter-trawled fish are the best option – try to avoid beam-trawled fish.”

Red mullet with romesco potato salad

Celebrate red mullet in this easy dinner idea – the fish has a firm texture, ideal for pan-frying. Swap mayonnaise for zingy romesco sauce for a spin on the classic potato salad.

A grey plate topped with pan-fried fish, golden potatoes, green beans and slices of yellow lemons

Brown crab

“This is a really sustainable seafood as long as you buy from a day boat. This ensures the most sustainable product, as nature dictates when the fisherman can catch them. As a day boat is much smaller, it can only lay a relatively small amount of pots to catch the crabs and, in bad weather, they are unable to go to sea, resulting in less crabs caught across the year. All over the world, our crab is prized as the best, so don’t miss out, boil one up and get cracking.”

Classic crab cakes with brown crab tartare sauce

Rich brown crab tartare sauce pairs perfectly with delicate white crabmeat in this classic starter idea.

A white rectangular platter topped with golden fried crab cakes, with wedges of yellow lemon and green leaves

Sardines

“Sardines are a fantastic fish, as they’re both sustainable and healthy. Look for sardines that are caught in an MSC-approved fishery, such as Cornwall. This ensures that you’re buying sardines that are being specifically targeted, rather than as a by-catch from fishing for other mixed species with a trawler. The reason this is more sustainable is that it means larger species aren’t generally caught by the two-man crew on a day boat, as they specifically target schools of sardines.”

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Grilled sardines with heirloom tomato salad

Serve grilled sardines with a vibrant side salad of sweet heirloom tomatoes, crushed almonds and sherry vinegar.

A white oval platter topped with slices of tomato and topped with grilled sardines

Squid

“Squid is a fantastic species to eat and far more versatile than simply frying in batter or breadcrumbs. It’s worth waiting for the late summer/autumn period to get the freshly caught ‘jigged’ squid. This is the method of catching – effectively line-caught – that minimises overfishing and ensures the best-quality squid, as it doesn’t get damaged as it does with trawling, where it can often be quite sandy. Cook hard and fast, or low and slow.”

Salt and pepper squid

Celebrate squid in this punchy starter recipe. The mix of Sichuan and black peppercorns gives a tingly spiciness and kick of heat.

A frying pan filled with fried squid, red chillies and topped with green spring onions, set against a pale blue background

Squid stew

This easy fish stew recipes comes from the Prawn on the Lawn. Tender squid is paired with creamy butter beans – serve with crusty bread for a hearty one-pot dinner.

A bowl filled with a vibrant red squid, pepper, butter bean stew with torn bread on the side

Tempura squid with ponzu dipping sauce

Prawn on the Lawn's crispy tempura squid is best served with a soy sauce dip for a moreish snack.

A blue plate topped with golden crispy rings of squid

More September recipes

Sweetcorn soup

Check out this zingy and aromatic corn soup, flavoured with lemongrass, coconut, chilli, lime and coriander.

Two bowls of yellow soup on a wooden table topped with salsa

Tomato manchego tart

Celebrate the arrival of autumn with this tomato manchego tart, complete with a paprika crust for extra kick.

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A tomato tart on a round plate with a grey wood background

Sweet-sour grilled aubergine

Soak up the last of the summer rays with this light aubergine salad, charred and dressed in a sweet/sour dressing.

Sweet-sour griddled aubergines with candied walnuts, sumac and red onion

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