What is local that you should eat now? (Seasonal Foods)
The best thing about eating foods that are in season, is the fact that it taste absolutely amazing, versus when it is out of season. Have you ever seen an out of season tomato, versus an in season one? The color is noticeably different and so is the flavor. This is why I always tell my friends to cook with ingredients that are in season. Another great thing about eating foods that are in season is that you will find that it has a better chance of being organically grown.
Italians are known to always cook in season, but with all the mass production going on in the world these days, it is easy to more away from these norms in any country. It’s also confusing when you have out of season food available all year round. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what is in season and what is not. This is why I thought, it might be a great idea to do a seasonal post on what ingredients we should be using now.
There are so many delicious dishes you can create with this vegetable. I find that aubergines are great when you are trying to eat less meat. Even though the vegetable is spongy when raw, the significant change in texture can easily become a substitute for meaty dishes. I mean, who does not like eggplant Parmesan?
I am so happy that beetroot has made a comeback in the recent years. With so much research that has gone into the benefits of fruits and vegetables, beetroot has come out on top for its nutritional value. You can eat it cooked, pickled or even in a hearty salad and trust me, it never disappoints. I remember a friend of mine was completely turned off beetroot by the bloody color, but once she tasted a beetroot salad, her life was forever changed.
The sweet hint in leaks, makes it a great ingredient in stews and adds great flavor to any base. Leeks have been closely associated with garlic, but the taste leans more towards a mild onion flavor. Fry up some shredded leeks and sprinkle it on top of a warm pasta or a cold salad. This is definitely a versatile vegetable.
Well, we know that Italians can turn tomatoes into incredible dishes and rightfully so. Pull out all your authentic recipes and start cooking. Lasagna, spaghetti and sauce and tomato soup are just a few meals worth mentioning. There is no limits to this versatile vegetable (or is it still recognized as a fruit).
Although the perfect time to buy cherries is from July, farmers start selling these balls of deliciousness from June. This fruit is not only beautiful to look at, but the texture and flavor is equally as great. One thing to note about cherries is that the sour ones are not always not fully grown. There are a variety of cherries and some are grown to be sour, while other are more on the sweet side. You can use the variety of cherries and incorporate them in dishes that suite the distinctly different flavors.
My furthest memory of pomegranates is a neighbour of ours who had a huge tree overflowing to our yard. I would help myself to the occasional pomegranate that has fallen down and it definitely became a decadent treat. There is something surprising and almost royal about this fruit. I started adding it to my salads and boy does it lift a boring salad to new heights. Kids love the seeds just as much and find this fruit somewhat fascinating. It could be the fact that they are allowed to eat what looks like pips, or the shiny exterior of the seeds.
Did you just scream strawberry cheesecake out loud? Well if you didn’t, then I surely did. There are so many recipes that comes to mind when I think about strawberries. Smoothies, ice-cream, milkshakes, tarts and salads are all great recipes to include these in. Of course, they taste just as amazing on their own and does not need a dish to let it taste amazing.
Cooking in season will always win over cooking out of season, because what is naturally grown would always provide more flavor. I am already planning some yummy recipes for the variety of ingredients we have during the warmer months. Who does not love spending time with friends and family during these months? Now, you can show off your cooking skills to those who you love. It’s a win-win either way and you should totally take advantage of it.