Back in March I wrote a guest blog over at The Cusp about how I got fooled by a March tomato. I know better than to buy a tomato in March…even if I did get it at the hippy-dippy produce store. It was red on the outside, white on the inside and had no taste whatsoever.
But now it’s July and fabulous tomatoes are a dime a dozen. I can’t get enough of them.
I eat them in sandwiches with Swiss cheese. Roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt and topped with Argentinian reggianito cheese. Split open and filled with homemade almond tarragon chicken salad. With fresh mozzarella and basil in a classic caprese salad. Simmered with olive oil, garlic, carrots, celery, onion and basil into a fabulous marinara and frozen so a taste of summer can be had in the depths of winter. And, of course in BLTs.
But tomatoes aren’t the only things we’re sinking our teeth into during high summer.
Purple hull peas are another favorite. They’re akin to black-eyed peas…just better. I cook them over low heat with a piece of Tennessee country ham. Add a little cumin, some black pepper and touch of butter toward the end and you’ve got one great bowl of peas.
I hardly ever cook desserts, but last night’s dinner finished with a blackberry cobbler. Cobblers are Southern specialties…fresh berries baked with a flour/sugar/milk/butter combination that’s just simple goodness with every bite.
Recently, Webster’s dictionary added the word locavore to its listings. Simply put, a locavore is someone who only eats food grown locally. It’s a noble ambition, but one that’s impossible for most people to adhere to. One simple reason is that for most people, coffee comes from far, far away. Theoretically, eating locally reduces your carbon footprint. My ever-s0-practical husband points out that just boiling some of that locally grown produce in a huge pot of water without a lid pretty much negates the good karma from buying local.
I imagine he’s right. He understands thermodynamics a lot better that I do.
But when it comes to taste, I say nothing beats the food grown in your own hometown. That’s why the chablis I had here…
is without a doubt the best I’ll ever have.
If you have a farmer’s market, go check it out. Tomato season, like football season, is way too short. Make the most of it.