Jump to content

An Ode


mame11
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am sitting at my desk enjoying some perfect watermelon. A glance at the calendar tells me that soon watermelon will not be perfect. I thought it would be fun to have an ode of sorts to those things we all love to eat only when in season.

What will you miss when summer is over?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sweltering heat. Playing connect the mosquito bites on my legs. Ummmm....just kidding!

I will miss tomatoes that taste like tomatoes, good corn and amazing peaches and melons.

I have to say, though that I'm looking forward to the fall. For all that I love the aformentioned, bring on the root vegetables. I'm ready to braise and relax in front of the fire.

It's been a Washington summer :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto the tomatoes, bags of fresh basil, peaches, oh! and watermelon. A couple of my favorite dishes for dinner are summer-only fare because the ingredients are seasonal and can't be replicated using canned or "winter" produce from Chile. While I really hate the brutal heat we've been having, I'm hoping for a nice long, warm Fall so that the local farmers can continue pumping out the goods. Like what happened two years ago. I got spoiled eating fresh summer vegetables so late in the year :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't buy tomatoes pretty much Oct-May, save the little grape guys. I just can't do it. It makes me so sad. I've also been disappointed that most of the peaches at Whole Foods this summer have been from California. They finally got some Virginia peaches, but I mean come on! How many nearby states are in peak peach season? Give me some NC, SC, MD peaches! They have had some great MD corn though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a fig fan too.

On Sunday, I went with a friend to her former landlord's home in Glover Park, where he has two different varieties of fig trees, which were loaded with ripe fruit. He doesn't know the varietal names, but one is pale purple--not dark like Mission or brown like Turkish figs. The other is quite small and greenish-white with tinges of pink. I picked as much as was seemly for a stranger. I ate quite a number of them fresh on Sunday. Yesterday, I dried a few pounds of them in my oven on very low heat, with the convection fan going and the oven door cracked. The house smelled divine all day, and the figs came out ambrosial. Not completely dry by any means, but with a slight tooth to them which is different than the mushy-mealy texture that ripe figs can have. The flavor is concentrated and intensified, with an earthy, floral note that is incredibly delicious. My husband doesn't really like fresh figs, but he loves these slow-roasted ones. Today, I am cooking some figs down in sugar syrup with tangerine and lemon peel to make jam. I have a fig tree in my yard which my mother-in-law planted as an ornamental. There are lots of figs on it, but they are still small, hard and green. This variety, whatever it is, is still green when ripe-- which happens quite late in the fall. I don't really care for the flavor-- sweet, but sort of vegetal. But I have been going on a real fresh fig binge this year, buying them whenever I see nice ones--usually Black Mission. I love them with cheese, and I also have been roasting them with honey and lemon peel, and making an oven-roasted compote of them with other fruits, like plums and sweet cherries. One of the best things I did earlier in the summer was to make a roasted fennel and fig slaw, which I served with duck leg confit and smoked duck breast. For many years, I could not eat figs because I had an allergic reaction to them. Mercifully, that allergy went away. Now I am making up for lost time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Zora, I am so jealous! I haven't been able to find figs as often this summer as I have the last few years and I'm going through withdrawal symptoms.

Those green figs sound like Kadota figs, which I was able to find last year at Fresh Fields. When ripe, they practically leaked honey.

That roasted fennel and fig slaw sounds wonderful! Would you mind posting a recipe?

Thanks!

Amy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That roasted fennel and fig slaw sounds wonderful! Would you mind posting a recipe?

Thanks!

Amy

Recipes for fennel that I have been reading recently call for the fennel to be quartered, cored and cooked in liquid first, before roasting. I didn't do that. I just shredded a couple of fennel bulbs finely, tossed it with some halved fresh figs and thinly sliced onion, drizzled it with EVOO, salt, lemon juice and a little bit of honey, grated some lemon peel on it and stuck it in a hot oven for about fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring to toss it a couple of times while it cooked. It still had a little bit of crunch, and the anise flavor was there, but in a subtle way. I love the flavor combination of figs, lemon and anise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another fig fan here. I actually tried to grow a fig tree in a container a few years ago. The figs never ripened before just rotting off the tree. What a disappointment!!! (I noticed that the nursery I bought it from stopped carrying it.) :P

Then, a couple of years ago I went to Texas for a visit and stayed in a house with a an old fig tree in the back yard. Fresh figs for breakfast every single morning. Maybe I'll try to grow one again--a different variety this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recipes for fennel that I have been reading recently call for the fennel to be quartered, cored and cooked in liquid first, before roasting. I didn't do that. I just shredded a couple of fennel bulbs finely, tossed it with some halved fresh figs and thinly sliced onion, drizzled it with EVOO, salt, lemon juice and a little bit of honey, grated some lemon peel on it and stuck it in a hot oven for about fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring to toss it a couple of times while it cooked. It still had a little bit of crunch, and the anise flavor was there, but in a subtle way. I love the flavor combination of figs, lemon and anise.

That sounds wonderful. I found some great figs at Grandmart on near 7 corners a few weeks ago and perhaps it's time for a trip back.

Thanks!

Amy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...