The garden gives an abundance of fruit and veg in September. You have to come up with ways of using it all. Growing your own tomatoes, beetroot and basil could not be easier. Tomatoes, basil, butternut squash grow really well here. Tomatoes and basil love a sunny patch outside or in a glass house/window while beetroot and butternut squash grow like a weed in a raised sunny, well drained bed. Bruschetta is great for sharing and an easy way to use this surplus veg with an infinity of different combinations. Make on toasted sourdough drizzled with the best of Irish rapeseed oil/an extra virgin olive oil or basil pesto.

Serves 4


  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1cm
  • 8 sprigs thyme and sage, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Maldon sea salt/cracked black pepper
  • 100g wild mushrooms, roughly torn
  • 50ml white wine
  • 150ml cream
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 300g quality Irish goat’s cheese
  • 100g toasted walnuts, optional


1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place your butternut squash, herbs and half the garlic onto a roasting tray and coat in half your olive oil, nutmeg, sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until la dente – about 15 minutes.

2 Heat a pan with the remaining olive oil and lightly fry the garlic, then add the wild mushrooms. Once these soften (about five minutes) add your white wine and reduce for approximately one minute, then add cream and a pinch of salt and reduce for a further five minutes. While this is reducing, toast the sourdough.

3 Time to assemble. This can be done any way you choose. We do it with some squash first, then some mushroom mix, then a bit more squash on top and finally a good crumble of goat’s cheese and walnuts on top, plus a big drizzle of the best quality olive oil you can buy.

Tip: Try crumbled creamy feta cheese or shaved Parmesan if you don’t like goat’s cheese. Fresh oregano leaves are a delicious herb alternative also. Don’t cook them as they will turn black and lose their delicate aromatic flavour.

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke

Recipe credit: The Duck at Marlfield House