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THE FRONT BURNER

FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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In Season: July

Here’s our monthly feature on what to look for in area farmers markets. For more vegetable-specific ideas on using seasonal produce in your kitchen, take a look through the archives of our “What’s Coming Up” feature, which ran last year in Food.

July: School’s out, pools are running full schedule and backyard grilling season is in full swing. A lot of July vegetables make great grilling fare–eggplant, peppers, summer squash and zucchini to name a few. And the peaches and other stone fruits that will start to appear this month can also be great grilled. You can be on the lookout for summer melons this month, also. Here’s a list of what to look for:

Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries

Cucumbers

Green Beans

Zucchini and yellow crookneck squash

Bell peppers

Eggplant

Sweet corn

Watermelon

Canteloupe

Peaches, nectarines

Tomatoes

Ideas for the kitchen:

  • Slice eggplant and marinate in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper, black pepper and salt  (or alternatively: sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper). Grill and keep in the fridge all week to use on pizzas, in quesadillas and on sandwiches.
  • Try a freezer jam recipe with the bounty of summer berries out now. Most call for only berries, sugar and fruit pectin available from the supermarket, and involve minimal cooking. This is a good option for those intimidated by the process of traditional canning.
  • Roasted red or yellow peppers are easy to make at home: Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for an hour or so, turning every 20 minutes (use tongs to turn them, gripping at the stem). Allow to cool for a half hour before peeling and de-seeding. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Look for next month:  Local grapes and apples

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