Never is there a better time to eat local, in season produce than in the summer. My mouth waters just thinking about the tomatoes, avocados, watermelon, corn on the cob…mmmm. The gardens just seem to be bursting with flavor…well, other people’s gardens, that is. Our own backyard “farm,” as the boys and I misguidedly call it, produced approximately six tomatoes and some nectarines and plums this year. Thankfully, the farmer’s market is overflowing with fresh flavors from the local farms who have actual legitimate reasons for calling themselves thus.
Eating seasonally brings an excitement to the table that I didn’t realize we’d been missing all these years. When a new fruit (watermelon!) or vegetable (red peppers!) comes into season, you just can’t wait to get it on the table and feast on it. The boys are already looking forward to apple season, something that never happened when we ate the sorry excuses for apples that they sell at the grocery store. As you can see here, we’re enjoying the very last of the strawberries, along with our favorite corn on the cob, a summer must-have at our house. In the skillet in the back is taco meat with whole wheat tortillas warming over the top. Trader Joe’s is finally carrying grass-fed ground beef! I am thrilled. As we don’t have a garage freezer yet, buying grass fed beef was difficult for us until now.
How can you go wrong with some pasta (I use Barilla Plus or whole wheat pasta) tossed with some fresh vegetables and local nectarines on the side?
And the gazpacho in the top picture? It’s the only cold soup I’ll eat. The avocados are what absolutely make the soup. What’s that? You say there’s too much goat cheese on it? Blasphemy! There’s never such a thing as too much goat cheese. We made this gazpacho with V-8, a little olive oil, worchestershire, balsamic vinegar, hearts of palm sliced into chunks, onions, and of course, tomatoes. Just keep messing around until it tastes good to you. It was the vinegar that made ours just right this time. My mom insists that seasoned salt is a must, but I think regular salt would do fine. But the avocados? You have to have the avocados. After all, it is summer.