From Garden To Table: Best Recipes From The Garden In August
Fruits and vegetables rarely taste better than when they're fresh out of the garden, but there's always a way to serve veggies and fruits that brings out their best flavors. Here are some of the best recipes to enjoy your garden vegetables in August.
Sweet & Warm
If you're lucky, you're spending August in Georgia or South Carolina to taste the best peaches in the country. They're sweet, juicy, and a little bit messy all by themselves, but they make the best baked confections of the summer. Warm peach pie with the contrasting cold scoop of vanilla ice cream is the perfect way to showcase the superiority of the August peach, but a peach cobbler does the peach justice and it's much easier to put together.
- 6 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch Salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup boiling water
Toss together filling ingredients. Place into a 13"x9" baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add butter and squeeze into the flour mixture until it resembles sand. Stir in water until just combined. Spoon topping onto peaches. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serves 4.
Tip: When you're selecting peaches at the market, look for orange in the background color and there should be a little bit of a give when you gently squeeze it. But don't squeeze too hard; you don't want it to bruise.
Sweet & Cold
Blueberries are definitely a fruit to anticipate in the summer. They're plump and sweet and so easy on the pocketbook when in season. This little blue fruit makes muffins sweet enough to call dessert, gives balance to pastry cream on a tart to make it grand, and are even fun when they're fresh and fizzy.
Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup hot water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup vodka
- 1-¼ cups club soda
- ¼ cup blueberries, plus a few extra for garnish
Combine the hot water and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Muddle or mash the blueberries in a small bowl with a wooden spoon to release the juice and color. Combine the blueberries with the vodka and lemon juice. Add the sugar mixture to the fruit-vodka mixture. Pour over ice and stir in soda. Serve and sip.
Savory & Cold
There's no food more refreshing in the summer than a cucumber. From flavoring water to a chilled salad, the cucumber adds brightness to any summer meal. The cucumber can absorb many flavors as it is about 95% water; but on its own it has a unique flavor for a delicious stand-alone side dish.
- 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into medium size chunks
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, toss and refrigerate for about an hour. A sliced fresh tomato and ¼ yellow or red onion can also be added for a little extra color and flavor. Serves four.
Tip: When selecting cucumbers at the market, make sure they are dark green and firm. Don't buy one with soft spots or wrinkles.
Savory & Warm
Summer Squash (yellow squash and zucchini) is quite different from its fall and winter cousins. They have soft, white centers with only slightly tougher skins making them easy to prepare and eat. They're great for casseroles, but if you don't want to heat up the kitchen while they're in season and you want to keep your summer meals on the lighter side, they're hearty enough to go on the grill.
Grilled Summer Squash
- 6 medium or large summer squash (yellow or zucchini), trimmed and cut into ½" lengthwise slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt to taste
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Toss squash with oil, lemon juice and salt. Lightly oil the grill rack, or heat your grill grid before putting your veggies over the hottest part of the grill. Grill squash for about three minutes on each side (turn only once) and move to the cooler part of the grill until the veggies are tender (about another three minutes).
August is a great time to eat fresh produce, but the month only lasts 31 days, so take advantage of good food now before you have to start thinking of Christmas decorating ideas.