Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile

Don’t you just love Autumn? The kind of Autumn with crisp blue skies, crunchy leaves and conkers. The kind of Autumn where it’s acceptable to have soup for every meal, where you walk through the park arm-in-arm with your friends and lovers, wrapped in scarves. The kind of Autumn that is actually called Fall and only exists in Central Park in films.

We’ve been waiting a while for Autumn to start, here in London, as the sun made a belated appearance. But now the clocks have turned back, and I barely see daylight, it’s hard to deny that the season has begun. But that’s fine by me, as it is the perfect time of year to break out the hearty carb-loaded meals, and rummage through my cupboards in search of the chestnuts I knew I had bought one time, and then forgotten about on Christmas Day. And Time Out magazine luckily gave me the perfect recipe, combining the two ingredients.

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Can’t work out if this is a blurry photo, or just the steam rising off the pan…

It’s a really easy recipe, and perfect for a cosy evening in.

Ingredients:

300g basmati and wild rice

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into largeish chunks

4 garlic cloves, crushed

200g pre-cooked chestnuts, halved

250g spinach

25g unsalted butter

100g cream cheese

1. Cook the rice until tender, drain fully, and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butternut squash and fry until tender (about 5/6 mins)

3. Add the garlic and chestnuts and cook for a minute.

4. Add the spinach, cook for another 5 mins.

5. Add the butter and rice to the pan, stir well and leave to cook for about 10 mins. Don’t stir (this way you get a nice crust at the bottom of the pan)

6. Finally, break up the mixture with a fork, stir through the cream cheese, season, and serve in front of a roaring fire (or the tv…)

Today’s quote is from William Cullen Bryant

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