A Small Bite from the Chef – Sept 2017
By Charles Lewis
Late summertime in the Bay Area.
Food trends come and go and often return in a different package. Mother Nature is not a trend; she is a consistent supplier of all things seasonal.
It’s the heat of late summer season and we are blessed in the bay area to have our gardens everywhere still blooming with so many varieties of beautiful and delicious produce: tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peaches, apricots, summer beans, figs (my tree is bursting with its second harvest), a cornucopia of sweet summer melons, and so much more.
Explore your local farmer’s market or better yet go explore a new farmer’s market that you have never been to, and discover other wonders of late summer foods. Purchase some fruits and other foods that you have never tried before, something you have never cooked before, never tasted. Take a chance on summer fruits and vegetables. Here are a few ideas:
- Grilled peaches served with roasted pork, or vanilla ice cream
- Fresh mission figs with Point Reyes blue and crisp bacon bits
- Brentwood sweet corn, grilled, lathered with butter and sprinkled with sea salt
- Delta asparagus with a drizzle of California olive oil and poached egg, diced chives and a toasted crostini with apricot jam
- Ripe casaba melon, prosciutto, olive oil, black pepper and a dot or two of
Step it up and step out of your comfort zone.
I leave you with no recipes for the above suggestions. Explore on your own. Be creative. The canvas is blank and there are many items in the garden box for you to work with. Go and paint your canvas, your way.
Here is one of my favorites:
My Summer Fruit Salad
Take a toasted slice of sourdough bread, spread it with avocado, and add slices of heirloom tomatoes (several varietals please). Sprinkle tomatoes with rock salt, top tomatoes with slices of fresh mozzarella, sliced ripe mission figs and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with California olive oil and balsamic.
As we enter the fall season, the shift begins with so much wonderful fall produce about to come to life. Squash galore, pumpkin, spaghetti, curry, turban, acorn; I could go on all day.
A visit to the farmers market will reveal the blending of late summer and early fall, so enjoy what late summer has to offer from the gardens and embrace the bounty that fall presents to you.
- Butternut soup
- Roasted acorn with brown sugar and butter
- Zucchini sauté with garlic, bell pepper, olive oil and oregano
- Roast a sweet potato, in its skin, maple syrup and grill pork
- Steam a spaghetti squash, strip the squash out of its shell, sauté with onions, garlic tomato sauce for a nice vegetable meal
So much more, pick something, research what to do with it and just do it.
Eat well, eat clean & eat local. Wishing you all a sweet late summer, a bountiful start to fall.
The Chefs Table!