It’s November, which means it’s time for warming mugs of cocoa, cosy foil-wrapped jacket potatoes, sizzling bangers and other tasty treats, as the rockets and roman candles soar into the night sky. Oven-fresh bread and chunky soups wait on standby to warm up cold hands. Bonfire night bangers are a must, cooked until crisp under a hot grill, with warmed rolls and sweet, sticky caramelised onions piled high. Toffee and treacle-inspired puddings perfectly hit the spot, with crisp, tart apples finding their place, too.
Bonfire Night also happens to land within British Sausage Week – so there’s no better time to explore recipes that make great-quality sausages the star attraction; toad in the hole, flaky sausage rolls or the best chorizo sandwich made with artisan-made British chorizo, are all crowd-pleasing contenders.
But let’s not forget vegetarian guests. After a bowl of lightly spiced vegetable and lentil soup, try serving a large platter with plenty of grilled Halloumi cheese slices nestled among shredded lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, toasted pitta pockets and a big bowl of home-made chickpea and tahini hummous. Or, you could try this recipe for falafel wraps with grilled veg & salsa for an extra-special treat.
If you’re after an autumnal dish that can be made in advance and kept warm in the oven, you could go for a pasta bake with plenty of roasted vegetables, or a layered vegetable lasagne. Try baking a large butternut squash along with your baked jacket potatoes and then make this squash & spinach pasta rotolo.
As for puddings, after a poor crop last year, the Bramley apple tree in our garden is already laden with juicy apples, perfect for a big toffee apple tray-bake. Apples can also be baked for a quick and easy pudding or lightly stewed and piled high into a sweet pastry case for a speedy tart. Serve with a large jug of warm custard to keep the outside cold at bay!