Oh no…..its actually happening. The end of summer and fall is in the air. We are gearing up for shorter days, longer nights and cooler temperatures. “Back to school” marks the beginning of new routines and signals a change in the way many cook from summer BBQ’s to fall stews, pot pies and soups. What foods should we be eating in autumn? Based on traditional Chinese medicine, its about eating seasonally and locally. The following should now be part of your fall diet: root vegetables, whole grains, legumes, green vegetables, hearty greens, fruit, fish and herbs.
Here is what you can expect this week:
Blue Plums – Keep plums in the fridge in an open container in the crisper drawer. Some people place them in an old egg carton to reduce the possibility of bruising. Plums make a great crumble or plum cake. They bring bright, tangy flavour to salads or sauces and pair well with meat such as pork. We just like to eat them fresh from the tree.
Peaches – We are getting near the end of the peach season so enjoy them.
Tomatoes – Red Pear are a very rare heirloom variety. Very few seeds, they are perfect for salads, sauces, canned or soups. If you are not able to eat all the tomatoes fresh, its easy to preserve them for later. They can be frozen whole by slicing the top of each tomato with a shallow X to prevent from bursting and place them on a cookie sheet to freeze until solid. Bag them according to how you will be using them. Because we are so busy during the summer, Marc and I like to stew them up, pour into glass canning jars (not too full) and freeze them. Whatever works best for you.
Mixed Greens – A fall mix of tender lettuce and mustard greens for a wonderful salad starter. A simple oil and vinegar would work well; add seeds, dry fruit and of course, feta to start your meal off with a bang.
Fresh Mushrooms – Another chance to enjoy local, organically grown oyster mushrooms. Our partner, Fundy Funghi grows them at their location in Ridgeville, can you get more local than that? Very mild, woody taste with a meaty texture. Simply pan fry for an easy delicious way to prepare them. Oyster mushrooms make a great pulled pork substitute for any vegetarians out there.
Frisee Lettuce – Also referred to curly endive, a member of the chicory family. It has a deliciously bitter edge. Frisee can bring dimension and texture to any salad with its mildly peppery flavour and crunchy leaves. This green can be sautéed with olive oil, finely chopped garlic and bacon for an interesting side dish.
Fresh Herb Winter Savory – Use to complement salads, especially bean, lentil and potato salads. Also, if you can’t use it right away, dry it for using later in the year.