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Recipes: Autumn Comfort Food

The soft sizzle of melting butter; the promising bubble of a saucepan; the warm smell of baked apples that – just for a second – take you back to your childhood. Whether you’re whipping up dinner for one or feeding the whole family, a homecooked meal is always a little bit special – and with fresh, hearty ingredients, the magic begins to happen long before dinner is served. Food writer Emily Ezekiel shares three warming, seasonal recipes (photographed by Lizzie Mayson) that are packed full of flavour and sure to impress this autumn.

Warm Late-Summer Salad

This deceptively simple and splendidly colourful dish looks spectacular on the plate – and is every bit as satisfying on the palate. 
Serves 4 as a starter

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2 tbsp butter 
300g Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 head of radicchio 
100g blackberries 
1 blood orange 
3 sticks of celery plus leaves 
100g blue cheese 

For the dressing:
1 tbsp white miso 
1 clove of garlic, grated 
1 tsp honey 
1⁄2 tsp Aleppo pepper or chilli flakes  
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp white wine vinegar 
2 tbsp cold water

Autumn Risotto

As the occasional cooler note slips into our days and evenings, heartier meals provide welcome comfort and sustenance – and this crowd-pleaser is no exception. 
Serves 4 as a main

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1kg butternut or acorn squash, cleaned  
1 lemon 
1 head of garlic, sliced in half widthways  
1 tsp dried chilli flakes 
4 tbsp olive oil 
1 handful of fresh sage leaves 
1L chicken or vegetable stock 
4 shallots 
3 sticks of celery 
300g Arborio rice 
300ml dry white wine 
60g butter 
100g Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

Burnt Caramel and Apple Galette

This French-style rustic tart makes for a mouthwatering finale to any autumn meal. As a finishing touch, simply add a scoop – or two – of your favourite ice cream.
Serves 4 as a dessert 

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For the pastry: 
175g plain flour 
2 tbsp ground almonds 
Pinch of flaky sea salt 
1 tbsp caster sugar 
1 blood orange, zest 
120g unsalted butter, very cold and diced  
15ml ice-cold water 

For the filling: 
3 apples of your choice  
50g light brown soft sugar  
1 tsp vanilla-bean paste 
1 blood orange, juice 
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon  
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger 
1 tsp corn flour 
100g chopped hazelnuts  
1 egg, beaten 
2 tsp demerara sugar 

For the caramel sauce: 
80ml water 
250g golden caster sugar 
1 tsp vanilla-bean extract  
120ml double (heavy) cream  
35g unsalted butter 
Large pinch of flaky sea salt

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