Autumn Feast – 8 Recipes to Fall in Love With

As the days continue to draw in and we delve deeper into autumn and summer memories start to fade, I decided to keep this Autumn feast fresh and vibrant to remind us of those balmy days.

Ben James, Domaine Mirabeau Chef

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Thyme roasted beetroots, whipped burrata and hazelnuts (starter)

Courgette, fennel and grapefruit salad (starter)

Charred tomatoes, goats cheese and tarragon bruschetta (starter)

Chicken Provencal (main course)

Grilled seabream, grapes, capers and clams (main course)

Balsamic glazed pumpkin with pine nuts and sage (side dish)

Braised Endive, chestnuts and lardons (side dish)

Speculoos and Lemon cheesecake, autumn berries and figs (dessert)

There are plenty of warming elements but also some very fresh, vibrant colours and flavours. We love cooking in autumn as it is a season so rich in produce, with the last hoorahs of summer perfectly offset with that warm, cosy feeling of cooking warmer meals and lots of greedy root veg.

You don’t get much more classic that Chicken Provençal and this is one of my favourite “pot meals”, really easy to do and great to double up and freeze in convenient portions. We’ve also done a whole sea bream caught off the nearest coast to Domaine Mirabeau with clams, the last of the grapes from the region and caper berries to make a lovely sweet and salty accompaniment to the light white fish. Keep an eye out for next month’s recipes where we’ll be going a touch more wintery. 

Thyme roasted beetroots, whipped burrata and hazelnuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole raw beetroots of any colour
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Half a bulb of garlic
  • 50g whole hazelnuts
  • 1 Burrata cheese
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Small handful of dill
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

Preheat your oven to 190°C. Cut the beetroots into eighths, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, toss with the garlic and thyme then roast for 40 minutes. Once in, crack your hazelnuts a little in a mortar and pestle then dry roast until golden (about 5 minutes) then set aside.

Meanwhile in a food processor, pulse the burrata, lemon juice and zest with a pinch of salt until smooth and fluffy. Remove and chill until needed.

When the beetroot is ready, remove and allow to cool slightly. To serve, spread some burrata mixture on a plate and arrange the beetroot as you like. Garnish with hazelnuts and dill, a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper. Great autumn lunch or side dish. This dish is made for Mirabeau Etoile. Bon Appetit

Courgette, fennel and grapefruit salad 

  • 2 courgettes, preferably different colours (use a mandolin if possible)
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced (use a mandolin if possible), fronds retained
  • 1 Pink grapefruit cut into segments
  • Half a lemon to juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Mix the thinly sliced veg in a bowl with the fennel, a squeeze of lemon juice, a glug of oil and salt to taste. Keep mixing and adjusting the seasoning as the veg becomes entirely coated. Arrange on a plate with the grapefruit on top. Finish with a black pepper and garnish with the fennel fronds (use dill or parsley if you do not have fennel fronds) 

Charred tomatoes, goats cheese and tarragon bruschetta 

Ingredients

  • 350g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 5g cumin seeds, crushed
  • 5g light brown sugar
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • Handful of tarragon, finely chopped plus some for garnish
  • 150g soft fresh goats cheese
  • 1 Baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C. In a roasting tray mix the tomatoes, garlic, cumin, sugar, lemon zest, tarragon with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until the tomatoes start to blister and soften. At this stage, turn the oven to the grill setting and grill on a high heat to blacken them slightly. If you have a blowtorch you can use this instead. 

Whilst the tomatoes cool slightly slice the baguette to your desired thickness, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper and grill until golden brown. 

Spread the goats cheese on your toasts and spoon on the tomatoes, garnish with the leftover Tarragon and serve. Mirabeau Pure or Etoile would both really lift these lovely nibbles.

Chicken Provencal

Ingredients

  • 4 whole organic chicken legs (in the UK organic chickens are free range and a minimum of 72 days old but 81+ is best)
  • Peel of one lemon
  • 200ml Mirabeau classic rosé
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 2 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary (dried is fine if you don’t have fresh)
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced with outer layer removed 
  • 15g tomato paste (also 5g harissa paste, optional)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 500ml good quality chicken stock
  • 100g mixed olives, pitted
  • 250g artichoke hearts

Method

Put the chicken in a bowl, season with salt and add the herbs, lemon peel, rosé and half the olive oil. Leave overnight in the fridge or at least a few hours. To get ahead you can now grill your tomatoes. Season with olive oil and salt, grill on a high heat under your grill until nicely charred, remove and cool.

When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Brown the chicken skin side down in your roasting pan with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crisp, turn for 5 minutes and remove. 

Soften the onions and fennel in the leftover fat for a couple of minutes then add the tomato paste, harissa if using herbs from the marinade, cook this for a couple of minutes and then carefully add the rosé mixture bit by bit to deglaze the pan making sure you really scrape the bottom of the pan. Add stock and tomatoes then simmer for 10 minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 140°C, add the chicken and artichokes to the pan, cover and put in the oven for an hour and a quarter, remove from the oven, add the olives and a squeeze of lemon juice and leave to rest for 10/15 minutes. Season and serve in a bowl with a hunk of crusty bread with a glass of Mirabeau Classic. Bon Appetit.

Grilled seabream, grapes, capers and clams 

Ingredients

  • 1x whole seabream (I’ve used a big one about 2.5kg) gutted and scaled. You can use multiple smaller fish if you like, just adjust the cooking time 
  • 200g clams well rinsed and ready to use
  • 200g samphire 
  • 1 small bunch of grapes
  • 80g caper berries, drained and rinsed
  • 20g parsley
  • Olive oil 
  • Sea salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 190°C. Rinse and dry your bream and place in a large roasting tray. With a sharp knife, score three or four lines across the fish from spin to belly on both sides. You are aiming to just cut the skin but not too much flesh. Rub the whole fish with olive oil and salt and roast for 30 minutes. Remove and test with a skewer, if the meat gives way and you go right through with the skewer it is cooked. 

Add the clams, grapes, caper berries and samphire round the edge and roast for a further 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve on a platter with Mirabeau Pure and let people dig in.

Balsamic glazed pumpkin with pine nuts and sage

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 50ml good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 15g butter 
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 1 handful of sage
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 190°C. Cut the pumpkin into large similar sized chunks keeping the skin on, drizzle with olive oil and, season and roast with half the sage for 15 minutes or until tender. In a dry pan, brown the pine nuts and set aside.

When the pumpkin is done, remove from the oven, heat a pan over a medium high heat, add the pumpkin and half the balsamic and keep tossing to evenly cover the pumpkin. When the balsamic is reduced to a sticky coating consistency add the other half of the balsamic and the butter and cook until sticky and evenly glazed whilst keeping the pumpkin moving. To serve, garnish with the pine nuts and the rest of the sage. Lovely warming side dish, great with meat and fish but even better cold the next day. I’d had a glass of Mirabeau Pure with this.

Braised Endive, chestnuts and lardons

Ingredients

  • 4 endive heads, cut in half
  • 200ml Mirabeau classic rosé
  • 2 shallots, cut in half
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 Cloves of garlic slightly crushed with the back of a knife
  • 200g lardons
  • 100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method

In a frying pan heat a little olive oil over a medium heat, season then brown the shallots and endives flat side down. Add the wine, garlic and rosemary and bring to the boil then transfer to a roasting tray and cover with foil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chicory is soft. Remove from the oven and keep in the liquid.

Meanwhile cook the lardons in a frying pan bringing them up to the heat, when they start to go brown add the chestnuts and when they both have a nice colour you can serve. On a plate lay out the endives and pour the lardons and chestnuts over the top. This is not the most colourful dish but it’s full of autumn flavours!

Speculoos and Lemon cheesecake, autumn berries and figs

Ingredients

  • 220g speculoos / biscoff biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 700g mascarpone
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Zest of 1 lemon 

To decorate

  • 10g crushed pistachio
  • 3 figs and a few blackberries – you can use any fruit that’s in season

Method

Using a food processor, pulse the biscuits until roughly broken down then add the soft brown sugar and turn up high until the mixture resembles bread crumbs but don’t worry about the odd lump. 

Melt the butter in a pan then add the biscuit mixture and stir until completely combined. You should have a wet heavy biscuit mix.

Using a loose bottomed cake tin (15-20cm) line the base with parchment, ensure it’s firmly closed and add the biscuit mix. Press with the flat bottom of a glass until even and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Whilst your buttery biscuit base is chilling you can make the topping. In a bowl beat the rest of the ingredients together. When ready add the mascarpone mix to the cake tin on top of the biscuit base, smooth the top with a spatula and return to the fridge for at least a couple of hours. I do mine the day before or first thing to really give it time to set. A touch of fizz could really take this to the next level, a glass of Mirabeau La Folie for me please!