Deliciously Ella’s Autumn Menu

Created and fine-tuned in her Henley studio kitchen, Ella Mill’s plant-based menu includes a slow roasted aubergine dish, a jewelled wild rice salad, and a plum, blackberry & maple crumble. All of which are packed full of flavour, easy to make and bring a little warmth as the weather starts to cool. 

Slow roasted aubergine & butternut squash

This is the perfect plant-based main. Slow roasted wedges of aubergine and butternut squash are tossed with chilli, thyme, and za’atar, then layered with crispy maple lentils and spicy garlic yoghurt. Makes enough for four

What you'll need

For the slow roasted aubergine 

  • 3 aubergines, cut lengthways into 2cm wedges 
  • 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed and cut lengthways into 2cm wedges   
  • 3 tbsp olive oil   
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)  
  • A small handful of thyme, leaves picked  
  • 1 tbsp za’atar  
  • 20g mixed soft herbs, roughly chopped (I love a mixture of coriander, chives, and dill)

For the crisply lentils  

  • 400g green or brown lentils, drained
  • ½ tbsp olive oil    
  • 4 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds (about 60g)
  • 1½ tbsp maple syrup   
  • 1½ tbsp tamari
  • A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

For the roasted garlic yoghurt with harissa   

  • 300g coconut yoghurt
  • 1 bulb garlic     
  • 1 tbsp harissa 

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the aubergine, squash, olive oil, and chilli flakes (if using) to a large baking tray. Season well with salt and pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together and spread the veg out into a single layer. You may need to use two trays to do this.
  2. Slice the very top off the garlic bulb, so that you can just see the inside of the cloves, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Wrap loosely in foil and add to the corner of the baking tray. Cook the vegetables for 1 hour, stirring halfway, until silky soft and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, add the lentils, olive oil, maple, tamari, and chilli flakes (if using) to a small baking tray. Toss together and oven cook for 10 minutes. Remove the tray, then stir through the pumpkin seeds and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool until everything is ready.
  4. Once cooked, remove the tray of vegetables from the oven and take out the garlic bulb. Scatter the za’atar and thyme leaves over the vegetables and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until everything is golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly before serving. 
  5. To make the roasted garlic yoghurt, squeeze the garlic cloves into a small bowl and roughly mash with the back of a fork. Stir through the yoghurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, spoon the garlic yoghurt onto a large, flat serving dish and drizzle over the harissa. Spoon over half of the crispy lentils, followed by the roasted vegetables. Scatter over the remaining lentils, then add the herbs and a generous pinch of sea salt flakes. 

Jewelled wild rice salad

This jewelled wild rice salad is packed with delicious flavours, including spring onions, pomegranates, maple, and cinnamon. It’s very easy to make, making it a versatile side dish you’ll return to again and again. Makes enough for four.

What you'll need

For the salad

  • 200g wild rice  
  • A drizzle of olive oil   
  • 5 spring onions, thinly sliced  
  • 100g pomegranate seeds   
  • 30g parsley, roughly chopped  
  • 3 carrots, julienned or grated 

For the dressing  

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp sherry vinegar   
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon  
  • ½ tsp allspice 
  • Salt and pepper

What to do 

  1. Add the rice to a saucepan of salted water and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and refresh in cold water, before thoroughly draining once more. Transfer to the salad bowl and stir through a little olive oil.   
  2. While the rice is cooking, make the dressing. Simply whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple, cinnamon, allspice, a pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper.   
  3. Once you’re ready to serve, add the spring onions, pomegranate seeds, parsley, and carrots to the salad bowl and toss to combine. Stir through the dressing, then taste to check the seasoning and adjust as needed.

Plum, blackberry & maple crumble 

Nothing beats a hot fruity crumble on a cold day. With hints of cinnamon, vanilla, maple, and almond, this beautiful plum and blackberry crumble looks and tastes absolutely amazing. Makes enough for four.

What you'll need

For the fruity filling

  • 6 plums, halved and cut into 1cm slices 
  • 300g blackberries   
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste   
  • 2 bay leaves  
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon   
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar, to taste
  • A pinch of salt

For the crumble  

  • 150g spelt flour, sifted 
  • 150g porridge oats    
  • 3 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup   
  • 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • A pinch of sea salt flakes 

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.  
  2. Toss together the plums, blackberries, vanilla, bay leaves, cinnamon, sugar, and a small pinch of salt (to balance the sweetness of the fruit). Tip into an ovenproof dish (roughly 25x30cm).
  3. To make the crumble, sift the flour into a bowl then toss together with the oats, almonds, and sea salt flakes. Pour in the maple syrup and olive oil and use your fingers to bring everything together until the mixture resembles wet breadcrumbs. A few larger lumps are great as these will create a lovely crunchy texture once cooked. 
  4. Scatter the crumble over the fruit and cook for 30-35 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serve with coconut yoghurt or vegan ice cream. 
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