I’ve noticed a trend in my blog post titles recently, the word “Summer.” I can’t help but obsess over the abundance of delicious Summer vegetables and fruits. More fruit than vegetables actually. I have to admit I am not the hugest zucchini or squash fan, and both just so happen to be the most seasonal vegetable right now. But I do think it is important to try to eat right, in season, and buy local. The benefits are innumerable. Buying local and seasonal ingredients allows you to eat the most nutrient rich foods, support your local farmers and community while minimizing your carbon footprint.
If you want to find out what’s in season near you check out Sustainable Table. Visit the website and select your state and season. The site does a great job of directing you to local farmer’s markets and lists the food that is in season in your region of the country. My current list for “Texas” and “Late July” includes: Apples, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Nectarines, Onions, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Snap Peas, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelon
Here are some recipes I have used to incorporate these local, seasonal ingredients:
1. Summer Fruit Salad – watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, apples, and peaches with fresh mint, lemon, and agave nectar.
2. Summer Corn Salad – sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, mint (any herb), olive oil, red wine vinegar, and toasted pine nuts. (recipe below)
3. Homemade Pizza – homemade basil pesto, caramelized onions and mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and arugula.
4. Spiced Peach and Carrot Bread – peaches, carrots, pecans, flour, oil, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk. (recipe coming soon!)
This recipe is great if you need to make use of leftover corn in your fridge. This past weekend we entertained a few guests and had corn on the cob with burgers one night. As a precautionary rule, we always have more than enough food to feed our guests. Of course, this resulted in tons of leftover corn just sitting in our fridge waiting to be put to use. I saw this recipe on The Kitchn and thought it was perfect. Nobody wants to waste, right?
Summer Corn Salad
(recipe adapted from thekitchn.com)
. 4 ears fresh corn, husked
. 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
. 4 tablespoons pine nuts
. 4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used sherry and white wine vinegar)
. 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
. Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 F and lay pinenuts out on a cookie sheet. Toast them for 8-10 minutes or until just fragrant and slightly brown.
In a medium-sized pot, boil the corn until kernels are just soft, about three minutes. Place in a bath of cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool, slice the kernels off the cob and pour into your favorite serving bowl. (Here is where I used my pre-cooked, leftover corn and simply cut the kernels off the cob.)