After a summer full of heat waves, humidity, and sudden storms, we are finally in the last full week of August and heading to September. Pumpkin spice season is on the horizon, and it is that time of year where things seems to rocket forward at an alarming speed, through back-to-school, choosing Halloween costumes, carving Thanksgiving turkeys, zipping up winter coats and dreaming of warmer months.
Not to fear, though: Most delicious, sun kissed summer produce is still very much available, and you should really make the most of it while you can! The end-of-season tomatoes are some of the sweetest around. You can find incredible peppers in all shapes, sizes. and colors. Lunches are most delicious when they’re fresh, light, and the ingredients are allowed to shine.
These five recipes will help you experience the wonderful range of fruits and vegetables that are still available in local farmer’s markets and ensure that your week is punctuated with meals that are summery and full of flavor.
Eggplant and peppers get marinated in and a lovely, sharp, sherry vinaigrette that is studded with sweet currants. Spooned over some crusty sourdough toast, these seasonal vegetables are a great nibble to have with drinks. You could also pair this dish with a simple salad for a light and easy vegetarian lunch.
When it is still hot outside, the words ‘no-cook’ are a godsend. This pasta makes the most of those fantastic end-of-summer tomatoes. This recipe is simple and you can tweak it any way you fancy — using different cheeses, adding in some other seasonal vegetables or using your favorite Mediterranean seasonings.
Even though Meyer lemons aren’t in season right now, this is a great summery recipe. You can use regular lemons instead of the Meyers, or else use a combination of lemon and orange zest for a similar tart-sweetness. The cucumber salad is a great summer side — it’s crunchy, fresh, and loaded with dill.
Chicken cacciatore is typically a winter dish — a rustic chicken stew made with canned tomatoes, olives, and plenty of garlic. Made with fresh cherry tomatoes, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, and served with a fennel bread salad, this recipe is lighter and perfect for these warmer months.
Before the weather becomes too cold for iced treats (if there is such a thing as too cold for ice cream) make these easy cherry ice pops. They’re made with cherry juice, frozen cherries, Greek yogurt, and a splash of cream, and taste as good as they look! Instead of refined white sugar, these ice pops use honey, a great natural sugar option — one reason why bakers and makers of sweet treats often ditch the sugar and reach for the honey.