Where to start, Britain has an amazing array of produce but many get much unnecessary bad press in search of produce from further afield. The list goes on and on but I have chosen some of my favourites for July and heading into August.
Fruit Veg Herbs
Strawberries Broad Beans Coriander
Cherries Tomatoes Basil Rhubarb Jersey Royals Chamomile Courgettes
Smarter because it is more cost effective as there is an abundance of the produce and smarter as there are less environmental miles to transport from farm to supplier, with any luck that is your local greengrocer or farmers market. But for me I am all about flavour and quality therefore the smartest of them all is that the produce is harvested at optimum ripeness to distribute to us.
It is not about purchasing staggering amounts of food but buying what you need to avoid waste or preserving the excess to create longevity to the season in a completely different way whether the increasingly popular processes of fermenting and preserving.
Strawberries are amazing and so reasonable, a bonus as kids seem to love them any which way. I have been using ripe and juicy berries for my mini cream tea and sliced on my strawberry and vanilla cakes, an absolute must in afternoon tea season.
In addition when they are a little past their best, smoothies are great but a fresh compote to serve on your yogurt or porridge.
So deliciously tart but it is all about flavour blends and not over cooking. Absolutely love rhubarb with ginger whether cake, tart or crumble, and it is totally delicious with those sweet strawberries.
Stunning combined with almonds whatever the recipe; friands, bakewells, tried and tested combo...do not forget that simple ingredients can create the most amazing dish!
Broad Bean, Jersey Royals & Courgettes
These three wonderful ingredients picked fresh from the garden are my idea of summer heaven in the form of warm salads, whether slightly tweaked separately or together with a simple dressing; I love really good extra virgin olive oil (or butter) fresh lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic, capers, herbs and good dose of seasoning. Warm through the courgette ribbons in the dressing, then toss thoroughly the cooked but still warm jersey royals and broad beans. Voila!
Where do I start, tomatoes of varying sizes and colours are used throughout the season and beyond. Tomato salads with simple dressing of choice but always at room temperature to bring out the intense flavour. Roasted tomatoes add flavour and create their own sauce with garlic, seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil, just needs a little patience to let the flavours meld.
Traditionally base for pesto and caprese salad but can be used instead of curry leaves and mixed with other soft leaved herbs to create a version of tabbouleh which gives a gentler taste than parsley. Obviously, for us that are gluten free I would swap for quinoa or buckwheat but rice or pasta could work, it really is about finding the balance that works for your palette.
Great in Asian cooking but so good in salads too. Much like basil can be used as a great substitute for pesto and amazing in salsas with some red or spring onions.
Love the calming tea but creates a subtle cake using the dried flowers much like tea. The delicate feathery leaves and flowers can make a pretty addition to your salads.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought...there is so much pretty much on our doorstep that can create a better environment for us. If we all purchased and cooked a little more thoughtfully we would all really reap the rewards.
Whilst I continue to enjoy July has to offer, I am a little excited about new seasons and new foods. Lovely Bread & Stuff will continue to look towards the seasons for inspiration for the weekly menus.
Look forward to you sharing your seasonal fruit and veg pics whether in the garden or on a plate. Please share with #LBandSFood
See you soon.
Let me know what you would love to see and if you have any questions. Follow me on LovelyBreadAndStuff (@lovelybreadandstuff) …….