Plant, pick and plate up...

What you should be planting, picking and eating this October...

Plant, pick and plate up...

Plant...
Outdoors: cabbages, barefoot fruit bushes, garlic, onion sets and shallots. Sow broad beans (Aquadulce Claudia is good for winter sowing) and hardy peas (such as Pilot) for early crops next year. Indoors: sow winter salad leaves such as lamb's lettuce or rocket.

Pick...
Apples and pears, French and runner beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnips, pumpkins, spinach, Florence fennel and the very last tomatoes.

Plate up...
The bulbous base of Florence fennel infuses a glorious aniseed flavour to dishes, and, combined with beans and the last of your tomato harvest, it makes a simple but sensational Mediterranean Stew. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and in an ovenproof dish combine 6 peeled tomatoes, 
2 washed and sliced leeks, 2 fat cloves of chopped garlic, 1 large sliced fennel bulb, a really good glug of olive oil, a measure of Pastis, such as Pernod, 2 bay leaves, a handful of fresh thyme, and season. Mix well and set aside to let the flavours mingle. Cover and bake for 30 minutes and then add 500g cubed potatoes, 400g can butter beans (or your own fresh or dried French beans), 250ml veg stock and 250ml white wine. Bake for another 40 minutes, remove the herbs, and serve warm with a scoop of green pesto.

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