This week is National Farmers Market Week. Seeing all of the fresh produce at the local farmers market always inspires me to try to adapt my cuisine to seasonal cooking.Towards the end of the summer, the berries and lighter vegetables are waning, and some of the heavier fall foods are starting to make an appearance.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate the August season with seasonal foods.
1. Brussels Sprouts – My sister makes these savory Mustard Bacon Brussels Sprouts at family celebrations, and they are always a hit.
2. Cantaloupe – There are literally so many amazing recipes for cantaloupe that there isn’t time to try them all before they go out of season, but this summer salad with prosciutto and champagne vinaigrette also makes use of #5 on our list.
3. Cauliflower – For the health conscious, mashed cauliflower can always take the place of mashed potatoes, but for something slightly off the beaten path, try this “Cauliflower Caviar” with prosciutto.
4. Celery – It’s perfect with wings and Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing on party nights, but if you want to use celery as a main dish instead of an add-on try this simple celery stir-fry with chili infused oil.
5. Garlic – An essential spice in many dishes, garlic takes on an added dimension when roasted. Try this salmon roasted with garlic and brussels sprouts for an easy summer dinner.
6. Grapes – Not to mess with perfection, but if you don’t want to just eat your grapes straight off the stem, you might try this salad, which also calls for #4 and some couscous.
7. Leeks – Leeks are related to onions (also in season), and they can add a kick to soups and salads, but for some comfort food, try this Mac and Cheese with Leeks and Gorgonzola.
8. Onions – Try a healthier version of onion rings you can personalize with your own blend of spices, Cajun, Italian, etc.
9. PEACHES! – I wait all year for peach season to roll around. By themselves, over ice cream or in this rich cobbler from Southern Living, there is nothing sweeter than ripe peaches.
10. Pears – Light, refreshing fruit, pears make good additions to salads and desserts, but a sweet change of pace is this Pomegranate-Pear Sangria.