Kohlrabi is ready for one last colesl-ah
Did anyone else feel the wind change?
Yep, that's fall telling us that it's just around the corner.
This is especially important if you're like us and you cater your meals to the season.
Stew in the summer? Rainy days only! Shish-kabobs in December, not likely.
And while some dishes, like salads, can be amendable to seasonal ingredients and flavour bases, others, like coleslaw, are ubiquitously summer.
Let The Ground Cherries Begin!
I am, admittedly, in a bit of a panic over the fact that my wee, shy, sensitive, three year-old will be starting school soon (and all that this entails)
Luckily we are entering the season of bounty so I have lots of good reasons to keep my mind busy.
Squash is just around the corner, the potatoes are sizing up, the garlic is almost done drying, and the onions are forming their skins for storage.
But the most exciting thing about the end of the summer season is, by far, ground cherries.
Those little yellow orbits of sweet-tart deliciousness, completely wrapped, because even they understand that they are a gift, make my heart sing.
And while I normally provide recipes for you to try, this is one of those rare exceptions where I say unto you, just eat them, as they are, fresh out of the wrapper.
Perhaps the only thing I should add is that we harvest them without seeing beyond their papery husk, trusting that the plant will only drop them if they are, in fact, truly ripe.
For this reason, if upon opening you see a few fruits who have a greenish tinge to them, leave them on the countertop for a bit (up to a few weeks even) as they might not be quite ripe. An orangey-pinkish hue is where the real sweetness lies.
As a true mother, I keep those for my soon-to-be schoolgirl.
Maybe she'll even get a few in her lunch.
(Writer's note: those last two sentences made me cry, true mother indeed).
Red Express coming your way!
Mid August brings all kinds of treats; potatoes, beets, carrots, beans.
It really is a time of plenty where the fastest of all cabbages can be featured at the dinner table.
We like to grow a variety called Red Express which never ceases to take my breath away with it's fushia-violet extravagance.
But how to make an already showy vegetable shine?
Any number of summer slaws could do this beauty justice, after all, keeping it raw means that the colouring stays intact.
If you do end up choosing the slaw route, you can go in a variety of directions.
A nice sour apple would pair beautifully with this cabbage (think granny smith), with or without the addition of cucumbers, such as in this bright tasting recipe.
Alternatively, you could pair the purple brassica with an orange carrot for a simple summer slaw, perfect for topping burgers or as a side.
Looking for a more robust flavour? This cabbage salad features, among other tantalizing ingredients, miso paste and tahini, and would be amazing with microgreens or kale thrown in the mix.
And if all else fails, braise, braise, braise :)
Get fresh with garlic
Remember that garlic you got last week? Well, it was fresh.
What does fresh garlic mean, you ask? It means that, unlike the later stuff, it hasn't been cured, and it is sometimes referred to by the French as 'ail nouveau' or 'new garlic'.
It is for this reason that it needs to live in your fridge until you are ready to eat it, and it should be eaten as soon as possible to ensure that it is the best it can be.
You can also try to cure it yourself, but some quality will be lost as it has also been topped, and the stem is an important part of the curing process.
From a culinary perspective, you can use fresh garlic much the same as cured garlic, albeit with a little more prep due to the still-plump outer layers.
Some food bloggers see fresh garlic as the special treat that it is, so if you feel like being fussy with it, it will only reward you with deliciousness.
One thing that I've tried successfully with this slightly tangier version is to roast them whole (cut off the top bits to expose the cloves for easier removal) and spread onto fresh or toasted bread, perhaps topped with a sliced tomato.
The roasting mellows out the already subtle fresh garlic, and makes for the perfect topping for all kinds of things.
For instance, those snap beans you are receiving again this week would be amazing lightly steamed with a dollop of roasted garlic mixed it, as would summer squash on the barbecue.
Oh, the mouth-watering possibilities!
Pump up the beets
Beets are a show-stopper.
They are brightly coloured, aggressively dyeing red anything that it touches.
So beautiful, in fact, that our kiddo swoons at the sight of them. Well, maybe not swoon, but definitely acts as if she has noticed the beauty of said beet (she is partial to pink, after all).
Beets and I go way back. I distinctly remember having it on a semi-regular basis as a child, boiled then pan-fried with butter and a little bit of salt and pepper.
The caramelization of the beets as its sugars hit the hot pan was delightful, and clearly, memorable.
And I must admit that this method of cooking beets is still very much part of my repertoire, but I'd also like to think that I am able to up my "beet game" if need be.
Returning members will remember my obsession with chocolate beet cake. The moist, sweet, earthy flavour of beet melding perfectly with chocolate to create one of those "I can't believe I can call this healthy" moment.
Ever try beet gnocchi? It's decadent enough to impress, and as such, I highly recommend it as a "first time cooking for your crush" or "boss is coming over" recipe.
Don't feel like a big to-do? Boil them and use them as a salad topper, or make them shine as the salad star.
It all boils down to deliciousness.