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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
Serve grilled sardines with a vibrant side salad of sweet heirloom tomatoes, crushed almonds and sherry vinegar.
“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.”
Celebrate squid in this punchy starter recipe. The mix of Sichuan and black peppercorns gives a tingly spiciness and kick of heat.
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.