Thursday, August 18, 2016

Three Cheers for the Joys of Summer Produce

Summertime is here and I am grooving on it! The farmers' market is bursting at the seams with everything good and wonderful: cucumbers, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, eggplants, greens, tomatoes, summer squash AND winter squash, fresh peas... the list goes on and on. 

a typical farmers market haul

I go to the farmers market twice a week, all year long - and this time of year is the best and the worst! It's the best because EVERYTHING WONDERFUL is available at the market - and it's the worst because (sadly) I can only logistically eat so much in any given day, and I have to force myself to pass by blackberries and peaches and strawberries and kabocha squashes and so much more. It hurts to walk past all that beautiful produce!

me in Carmen Miranda form, celebrating summer veggies


This week I bought: corn, onion, zucchini, broccolitos, parsley, red scallions, dry-farmed tomatoes, a seedless watermelon, cilantro, a small eggplant, a poblano pepper, 2 cucumbers, celery, a jalepeno, white nectarines and nectaplums, kale, bell peppers, and more kale -- all organic! I love love love the farmers market and never take it for granted that I am able to buy almost all my produce locally and straight from the farmers who grow it. What a special thing.



My parents came over for a spontaneous dinner recently, and I wanted to make an easy dessert that was light and special. Nothing fits that bill better than chocolate-covered strawberries! They come together so quickly, and are so delicious and summery. I usually just melt some chocolate chips in the microwave, add in a few more and stir until those melt, and then add in about 1/2 tsp coconut oil and stir until that melts in. Then I dip my berries, and put them on a piece of parchment paper and into the fridge to set up. We all enjoyed them so much!

chocolate-dipped family members


some produce from my aunt's fruit trees

My aunt Laura brought me some beautiful fruit from her garden - Santa Rosa plums and King Figs. So much beauty and deliciousness and fruity glory all in one. Figs are definitely one of my all-time favorite foods. Who thought of figs, anyway? They're so weird and so beautiful and so magnificently rich and flavorful.


Long Weekend Grilled Salad from The Oh She Glows Cookbook

This grilled salad from the Oh She Glows Cookbook is one of my very favorite summer recipes and I always feel compelled to make it a few times each summer - while the gettin's good for corn and peppers and zucchini... Just looking at this picture makes me want to make it again. It's pretty much the epitome of summer veggies, in one huge, delicious dish. 


summertime vibe


slumber party brunch, part 1

My bestie and her 8-year old daughter came down for a slumber party, which is just about the most fun thing ever. For breakfast I made the "Perfect Puffy Pancakes" from Isa Does It. I had some apples from our neighbor's apple tree which hangs over our fence, so I made some sauteed apples to go on the pancakes too. I didn't know what my young pal would think of that, and she loved them!




slumber part brunch, part 2

Although my kiddo pal stuck to the pancakes, us grown-ups wanted something savory to go with our brunch... so I made the always-amazing Mighty Migas from The Taco Cleanse. Seriously that whole cookbook is worth it just for this life-changing recipe. Oh Mighty Migas, how I love you. A few days after this brunch, Mr VE&T and I decided that we needed to have migas again for dinner. Maybe I just need some intravenous migas. Plus, as you can see, I made a big bowl of guacamole! One of my yoga students gave me several beautiful avocados from her tree - and this was a perfect way to put them to use.

I'm so glad that there are still a couple more months of all this glorious bounty to be enjoyed and reveled in. What are you favorite summer fruits and veggies? 

15 comments:

  1. You really are so lucky to have that kind of access to such fresh and organic fruits and veggies! My summer favorites are corn, tomatoes and peaches. I live in Massachusetts and because of a late freeze this spring, we have no local peaches (or other stone fruits) this year. And we won't have apples this fall. So sad and hard on the farmers :(

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    1. Oh man, that is such a bummer -- for you and for the farmers. Our apples this year are super early... so I guess we won't have many left for fall?

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  2. Impressive farmers market haul & yum to the chocolate-covered strawberries! :D My favorite summer veggies right now are the ones I'm getting from my garden: snow peas, kale, and lots and lots of cucumbers!

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    1. oh yay, don't you just LOVE garden-grown veggies? I've never grown cukes, it's not quite hot enough here. But we've got tomatoes, butternut squash, eggplants, and garlic in our garden. So fun!

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  3. I have to say that although the summer produce at your farmers market is stupendous, I was pretty impressed with the winter produce at the Marin farmers market! California is a different world than anywhere else I've lived. Thanks for reminding me to get out my copy of the Taco Cleanse. I may need some migas asap!

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    1. :) yes, you definitely need migas! ha ha. It's true, California has some seriously great farmers markets, it's pretty great.

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  4. I love apricots and watermelon and cherries. Counting down the months until stone fruit is available here again. You are so lucky to have access to such a great farmers markets.

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    1. Yes, I feel so lucky for my farmers markets! Apricots and watermelons and cherries are all my favorites too!!! I have half a watermelon in my fridge right now, actually!

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  5. I have the same problem with my CSA, this time of the year we get so many tomatoes that my life revolves around them. XD The worst part is that even if we preserve them into a sauce or BBQ sauce, they cook down so much. I made BBQ sauce and 9lbs of tomatoes cooked down to 2 1/2 mason jars of sauce. And the 8 quart stock pot didn't have much more room for tomatoes to add XD

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    1. It's so true!! I had a whole crate of tomatoes to can, and ended up with 9 jars of tomatoes. I mean, that's good, but they really cooked down SO MUCH! Today I am going to make applesauce!

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  6. Yay for summer produce. And you're right — it's soooo hard to choose. In my house, it's just me (Paul lives out of town right now and is only home on weekends, but we don't eat the same things). So I'm always so sad about how little produce I can actually eat.

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    1. ha ha, I KNOW. I wish that every day I could eat 20 pieces of summer fruit, some pizza, some salad, some excellent summer veggies, corn, and so on. ALAS

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  7. Summer is the best season! Here in Greece, we have an abundance of melons and figs right now. I have really noticed that organic fruits simply taste better. I had the most amazing grapes the other day.

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    1. summer is totally the best! Oh man, I LOVE figs and melons! I am coming to Italy next month, and I hope to eat a lot of figs while I am there!

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  8. I was pretty excited to see pablanos at the market recently. I go to the Farmer's Market every week. It's a block away and I love that I can walk there and peruse all of the wonderful produce.
    Those figs look so fun! I love all of the different type of figs - I'm originally from Canada and we don't grow them (at least not the area I'm from) and I have been really enjoying all of the varieties.
    What a fun slumber party!!

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