Weekly meal planner

Individual chicken, pumpkin and sage pies.
Individual chicken, pumpkin and sage pies.

Early autumn is one of the best times of the year to get busy in the kitchen. With warm afternoons there's still the opportunity to fire up the barbecue, while cooler evenings encourage heartier, stove-top or oven-baked fare.

It's the perfect time to get re-acquainted with versatile pumpkin and crisp early-season apple varieties, while also enjoying the last of summer's tomato and basil offerings.

Here's a good early-autumn tip for those with a herb garden: Preserve basil, coriander or dill to use in the cooler months.

Here's how: Tear the leaves into small pieces, place them in an ice-cube tray and just cover with water. Once frozen, the blocks should stored in zip-sealed plastic bags to lessen the likelihood of them taking on "freezer odour". When you want add some basil flavour to a winter dish, take out a few blocks and add to the dish a minute or two before it's ready. Leave enough time for the ice to melt and the flavour to be infused through the dish. (By David Sutherland, who interviewed spice guru Ian "Herbie" Hemphill for Epicure in 2010).

Autumn meal planner

Murdoch Recipe Thumbnail

MONDAY: Ricotta and corn fritters are a light start to the week

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (3)
Jill Dupleix's guacamole.

MONDAY: Serve the fritters with a dollop of chunky guacamole

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Jill Dupleix

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (2)
Neil Perry's barbecued pork chops with apple, potato, parsley and lemon salad.

TUESDAY: Grilled pork chops with potato and seasonal apple

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Neil Perry

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (5)