|Published: 23rd July 2007 11:28|
Summer is at its height and the produce available reflects this beautifully. Peaches, Apricots, Plums and Melons are all wonderfully juicy and ripe. Tender Sweetcorn, Watercress, Lettuce and Runner beans are in abundance. The Mediterranean vegetables, Courgettes, Peppers, Tomatoes and Aubergines are still with us. Oily fish such as Sardines, Herring, Mackerel and Salmon are also in season, so it's a good month the get those Omega 3 & 6's. With all this fresh summer produce it's easy to forget that autumn is approaching, August also heralds the start of the Game season. Also Potatoes, Beetroot, Kohlrabi, Carrots and Marrows are starting to appear.
Fresh sardines have a beautiful, silvery-blue skin and are incredibly nutritious being high in iron, protein, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids. They are particularly high natural oil content for fish and so are best grilled or barbequed, (weather permitting). Sardines stand up very well to even flavourings, such as chilli, garlic and rosemary.
Try Our Grilled Sardines with Lemon and Lime Salsa.
One of the most beautiful fruits ever, not the rock hard supermarket version but the soft yielding, juice dribbling down your chin, sticky fingers ones that were never meant to travel far beyond the tree. The colour and scent of fresh peaches is divine. Yet again as with a lot of in season summer produce it doesn't really need any help. You only need cook them if you have the tasteless, scentless hard peaches from the supermarket.
Try our Peach Melba recipe.
Or why not kick back with a Classic Bellini cocktail.
Rabbit is a good introduction into game if you've never had it before, contrary to popular belief it is not very much like chicken at all, it has a more robust texture and mild game flavour. Rabbit is also a healthier choice being high in protein while low in fat and cholesterol. Wild rabbit is leaner and more flavourful than its farmed counterpart. Wild rabbit requires long slow cooking, especially the hind legs. Rabbit is used widely in traditional Spanish, Italian and English recipes.
Try our Spanish Rabbit and White Bean Stew.
Fresh beetroot is very different to the vinegar pickled stuff of Christmases past. Raw beetroot grated in a salad add not only texture and colour but a deep earthy flavour. Baby beetroot has a delicate nutty sweetness. Beetroot can be roasted, steamed or boiled and then peeled, which is the messy part and definitely requires gloves. Because of its health properties beetroot is also used in juices and smoothies.
See our Raw Beetroot Swedish Style Salad
Or try a Pink Pick Me Up.
Sweet corn is so easy to grow at home, I grew my own Sweetcorn for the first time last year, I am no wonder in the garden but I had a fantastic crop. As with many vegetables fresh Sweetcorn is far from the nibblets available macerated in salted sweetened water in cans. As with Peas after picking the natural sugars begin to turn into starch. This is why frozen peas maintain their sweetness, however freezing is not kind to Sweetcorn as it becomes watery and looses its characteristic crunch. Sweet corn is best simply boiled in slightly salted water and anointed with butter.
Try our Sweetcorn Fritters with Spicy Salsa
Or Oriental Chicken and Sweetcorn soup
Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family and has a firm crisp texture and a mild turnip flavour. To prepare cut off the base and protruding stems then peel. Kohlrabi can be substituted for turnip in any recipe, and is good steamed or boiled, sliced and stir-fried and added to stews or soups. Sliced finely it makes an interesting addition to coleslaw, or can be fried to make tasty chips.
Try our Kohlrabi remoulade perfect with Fish.