Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Eat What's In Season

Farmer's markets and produce stands are opening up everywhere and there is no better time of year to frequent your local spots to pick up the freshest and best produce. There is so much truth to "eating in season". The strawberries that we picked up from the patch last month were beyond wonderful- so juicy, so sweet and bright, bright red. I can buy them at the grocery store year round, but they don't even compare. Fruits and vegetables taste better in the seasons in which they favor and Summer, especially, seems to be bursting at the seams with the best flavors.

I found this list in a local magazine, and thought it would be great to share some of what's in season now. In addition, I'm sharing some recipes and/or ways to use each fruit or vegetable.

Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries- Give me all the berries! Right now, I'm enjoying fresh berries with yogurt, in smoothies and even plain. Plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, pistachios and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup is my favorite breakfast right now! If you're looking for something a little more indulgent to do with your berries, combine them all and make this Fresh Berry Pie.

Cabbage- It's not just for your St. Patrick's Day corned beef dinner! I love using cabbage for sandwich wraps because it doesn't break as easily as lettuce and holds everything together. If you're into coleslaw, this Jalapeno Lime Slaw is bright, fresh and perfect for Summer dinner parties.

Tomatoes- Quite possibly my favorite of all the Summer produce. Caprese Salad. Need I say more? Tomato Basil Pappardelle and BLTs both tie for second.

Cauliflower- This poor vegetable doesn't have the best reputation but roasting it makes all the difference. This Cauliflower, Chickpea and Kale salad just might change your mind about cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower also makes a great alternative to mashed white potatoes. I typically steam, mash and mix with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Simple and delicious.

Cucumbers-  Cukes are so versatile! I love to use them as hummus dippers or add to lettuce wrap sandwiches. Cucumbers, tomato and red onion make a wonderful Summer salad and cucumber slices and mint are two of my favorite water infusers.

Zucchini- The vegetable that everyone feels like is coming out of their ears once the Summer is in full swing. I happen to love it every which way. Grilled, roasted and made into noodles! Zucchini noodles are a favorite around here. Top them with pesto or use them as a main dish served with meatballs and sauce.

Fennel- I never liked this when I was younger but I have grown to love it! Sliced pieces of fennel bulbs make for great vegetable dippers. It has a slight licorice flavor and a great crunch. It's also good roasted. Ina Garten has a recipe for Parmesan Fennel Gratin that looks tasty!

Take advantage of what's in season this Summer!

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