Autumn is my favourite time in the garden at Bells at Killcare . It’s cooling down a little but everything planted in the heat of summer has had that head start and is now ready to pick. The herbs especially are full of flavour and walking through there are whiffs of pungent basil, Corsican mint, lemon verbena and lemon thyme. Our favourite for adding to salads is tangy sorrel and each day we cut leaves from various clumps scattered through the garden.
There are plenty of beans at the moment- creamy tondini, purple, green and yellow. Chillies are plentiful at this time of year. We have two unusual Italian varieties- frigitello and Lombardo. Both are mild to medium-hot and great for shallow frying in extra virgin olive oil. Serve sprinkled with salt as a snack.
Our favourite bitter greens are also in abundance. Borage, cime di rapa and cavolo nero are often mixed with ricotta and made into a ravioli stuffing. Cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) is also great in a golden baked gratin with fontina and parmesan.
With just-picked baby carrots and turnips, Manfredi at Bells head chef Cameron Cansdell has put together a great dish that can be easily prepared at home.   The recipe , Roast Carrots and Red Lentils, with Walnut and Lemon Sauce is here at Manfredi news

Stefano Manfredi


Roast Carrots and Red Lentils, with Walnut and Lemon Sauce

Serves 4
Ingredients for the walnut sauce
2 cloves garlic
300g toasted walnuts
3 tbs plain yoghurt
4 tbs tahini
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 -3/4 cup boiling water
salt and pepper

Ingredients for the carrot salad
12 baby carrots
Salt and pepper
¾ extra virgin olive oil
8 breakfast radishes, each cut into quarters
4 tbs roughly chopped basil
½ bunch roughly chopped mint
50g fresh horseradish, grated
3 tbs good quality red wine vinegar
200g red lentils

First make the walnut sauce, place all ingredients in a food processor except the water and blend until smooth, add a little water a time and puree until the texture of thick cream is achieved, season to taste and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 200C. Peel carrots, trim both ends and roast in the oven, coated with some of the oil, salt and pepper until caramelised and tender. Set aside to cool. Repeat for the radish.
Place lentils in a pot of cover with cold water and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until they are tender. Drain and place in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. To serve place a good tablespoon of the walnut sauce on each plate, place a large spoonful of the lentils to one side and top with roasted carrots and radishes.