August is a bountiful month for produce. The fruits and veggies are in their peak state of ripeness. Juicy and bursting with flavor unlike anyother time of year. At the end of august, fall produce starts to make an appearance making late summer the most optimal time for creatives in the kitchen.
Summer has so much to offer. Longer days, warm weather, and a plethora of produce. Walking through my neighborhood or the streets of the city, I see flowers in bloom, and people outside. Plums and figs are falling from the trees faster than we can harvest, and enjoy them. Produce stands along the side roads have returned, and the farmers markets are filled with vendors and people alike. The time to shop local is now!
The colors of food in the summer bring me so much joy. Each plate is a blank canvas waiting to see what you create. When you have a connection to the food you are eating, you experience a sensation unlike anyother sensation. You feel connected to the beauty of what earth has to offer.
The taste of a tomato in August is far superior to a tomato in October or February. When you shop local, you start to understand food and the seasons better. Your perspective shifts, and reducing your food mileage becomes a priority, for environmental sake, but also because something freshly picked, just has more flavor then something shipped across the state, or country.
You know a peach is going to be good when you pick one up, give it a good sniff, and you breath in its sweet nectar. There is no comparison to a peach grown and picked in its natural habitat.
Society has grown into an impatient culture, that expects everything to be available all of the time, and the same goes for food. The world has been in a fast food mindset since the 80s, but the slow food culture never died.
You can't grow the perfect peach or tomato in a lab. It may look perfect on the outside, but when you bite into a flavorless tomato after eating an organically grown, ripe summer tomato, then you will understand why it is important to slow down and let nature take its natural course.
What's in Season in August
There is so much in season, this list doesn't even scratch the surface. August is the prime time to indulge in fruit, peaches, plums, nectarines... blueberries, raspberries, blackberries... figs and cherries! Try them all!
But don't pick them up in a plastic clamshell at the grocery store, go out into the community and get some of those local grown, freshly picked, berries, or peaches. Better yet, go out to a farm for a you pick, so you can better appreciate the fruits of your labor.
This season, I encourage you to incorporate fruit into your savory dishes. Throw a peach on the grill and eat it with that chicken, or fish. Eating in the summer should be easy, most ingredients are in their prime, and don't require much manipulation. A simple meal can be extraordinary, when you start with fresh ingredients.
Try some of our favorite summertime recipes! Switch up that tomato mozzarella salad and try out our tomato & fig salad. An unexpected sweet and savory combination. Not into figs? Try a tomato and peach salad with crème fraîche.
When selecting ingredients, look for soft ripe figs for a sweet, jammy inside. The firm figs are not as sweet, or flavorful. You should be able to smell the sweetness of the fig, and the vines of the tomato.
Green coriander, a chef's well kept secret. When used as a garnish, green coriander oil can elevate any dish, from tacos to crudo. Search for some at your local farmers market, or plant some in your kitchen garden, then wait for the plant to turn to seed.
A light dinner with bright juicy flavors. This recipe teaches you how to simply bake fish so it turns out perfect every time.
Fig and Prosciutto Salad
The perfect combination of sweet and salty, presented three ways, because we just can't get enough!
A quick weeknight meal with an avocado based pasta sauce. Make the sauce and enjoy it as a crudite dip or make the full recipe using up those grill leftovers from the weekend. This is a great dish to meal prep, and snack on for the next three to four days. The pasta can be enjoyed warm or cold, making it versatile for an easy lunch on the go.
Switch up your morning eggs and toast breakfast for this overnight chia pudding. Fresh fruit & creamy chia pudding will awaken your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied until lunch.
Food for Thought
Slow food is the new fast food
"Because only slow food can teach us the things that really matter - care, beauty, concentration, discernment, sensuality, all the best that humans are capable of, but only if we take the time to think about what we are eating." - Alice Waters
Slow down, what are we in a rush for? What are we compromising by cutting corners? Take a moment before you head through that drive through window. What are you gaining by having your meal handed to you in minutes, and what are you giving up?
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients" - Julia Child