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Merlin’s Seasonal Cooking

Chef of Osip Merlin Labron-Johnson may have become the youngest Michelin Star British chef, but when it comes to cooking, the simplicity of seasonality is key. Here, Merlin shares his favourite ingredients he looks forward to each season, as well as his favourite autumnal gratin. Serve on its own as a vegetarian course, or as an accompaniment to a roast.

  • Pumpkins
  • Apples
  • Cep mushrooms
  • Wild game birds
  • Chestnuts

  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Celeriac
  • Pointed cabbage
  • Venison
  • Potatoes

  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Wild garlic
  • Lamb
  • Morel mushrooms

  • Elderflowers
  • Peas
  • Courgette
  • Strawberries
  • Beans – green, yellow and runner

Ruth Rogers (3)

  • Serves 6-8



    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds, using a spoon.
    Cut the pumpkin into wedges and then slice the wedges crossways so that you have thin strips. Toss the pumpkin strips with a little olive oil and place them on a baking tray. Put in the oven for 10 minutes.
    Whilst the pumpkin is in the oven, slice the stems of the chard and sweat them in a saucepan for 10 minutes with a good glug of olive oil. Shred the leaves and add them to the stems, cook for a further 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    In a frying pan, melt the butter and when it is foaming, add the breadcrumbs. Cook over a medium heat until they start to turn golden then set aside.
    Put the cream, milk and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and cook gently until the liquid has reduced by half and slightly thickened. It should just coat the back of a wooden spoon. Season the cream with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.
    Find an ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate all the ingredients for the gratin. Put the pumpkin slices in it and arrange the chard around and in between. Pour the cream mixture over the top and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
    Using a fine grater, grate the cheese over the top and place the dish in the oven for 30 minutes. It should be golden brown and bubbling on top.

Classroom Skye (5)

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