9.21.16 Wisconsin Grown | Part 20
The intersection of summer and fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love when my kitchen is full of things that still feel summery (tomatoes, watermelon, raspberries) and others that just scream fall (I’m looking at you apples and pears). And besides an unparalleled variety in produce, the types of things one can cook with them this time of year has increased as well. When some days still feel like summer and others carry the first bit of fall chill, you can get away with cooking all manner of things. Soups and braises and things that you’d shy away from in the heat of the summer begin to make appearances on chillier, rainy days. The next day, the sun comes out, and it’s time to fire up the grill and eat outside. It’s nice to have variety.
On the garden front, things are beginning to wind down. Peppers and kale are still going strong (those that survived copious amounts of hail earlier this week anyway), with at least one more good harvest, but most everything else is slowing down considerably. Our CSA continues to keep us well supplied, and the farmer’s markets are still going strong; markets currently being my go-to for all manner of fall fruits - apples, pears, plums, and the like. Here’s what we’re cooking with this week:
I love Watermelon, as does every other member of our family, so we were all pretty excited to see one making an appearance in this week’s CSA. It’ll be delicious straight up, or in a nice simple salad with some feta and fresh mint. And while the weather’s still nice, grilling up some of Bon Appetit’s Vietnamese Pork Chops and pickling the watermelon rind to go with it doesn’t sound like a bad idea either.
Who are we kidding. This week’s CSA Raspberries are just getting eaten outright (okay, you’ve got me, they’re already gone). We’d be fools to do otherwise.
We’re getting down to the last Tomatoes of the season, so we’re going to enjoy them in my favorite way - on toast. Good tomatoes (sliced fresh, or blistered in a hot pan), good toast (rubbed with Garlic if I’m feeling fancy), a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, whatever fresh herbs I have on hand, and a drizzle of good olive oil. You can always gussy it up a bit with fresh ricotta, or thinly sliced parmesan, or whatever else you have on hand that goes well with tomatoes. The fact remains that when it comes to tomatoes on toast, it’s hard to go wrong.
My inner pyro comes out these days, as I find myself roasting every Red Pepper I can get my hands on over an open flame on our gas range. The resulting roasted peppers are wonderful additions to salads, omelets, or just eaten straight up. And if you end up with extras, never fear. You can always make romesco.
Now that it’s getting cool enough to use the oven again on a regular basis, roasted Garlic is my jam. It’s probably one of the best things imaginable to spread on warm crusty bread.
Onions and Thyme this week means we’ll likely be feasting on Caramelized Onion and Fennel Tart, something that makes me very happy indeed.
This Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup from Epicurious seems like something I need to make immediately, especially considering the sheer quantity of Kale and Potatoes I have on hand these days. I’m not complaining.
Things I Made today’s Harissa Spiced Roasted Carrots with Lemons sounds like a lovely way to make use of this week’s Carrots (hmmm, more roasting. I’m sensing a trend this week).
We all know that the best Shishito Peppers are blistered shishito peppers, whether it be simply with lemon and sea salt, or slightly more adventurous like these Blistered Shishito Peppers with Miso from Food & Wine.
I love fresh shell beans, so whenever I come across fresh Borlotti Beans at the farmer’s market, I have to get them. They’re quick to shell, quick to cook (compared to dry beans), and you can make them into things like Bon Appetit’s Spicy Beans with Wilted Greens. I recommend topping with copious amounts of parmesan and a soft cooked egg.
Apples are this season’s tomatoes. They’re everywhere, and I want to eat all of them. I usually pick up a few varieties at the market each week for eating and making into apple sauce (one of Leo’s favorites). Those that are left get roasted up with spices, and served atop oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, or whatever else I can think of.
Let’s just say that when it comes to Plums, you cannot go wrong with Ina Garten’s Plum Cake "Tatin". Just make it already.
Also this Roasted Pear Cake with Browned Butter Glaze from Food52, since we have plenty of Pears, and can always use more cake (and apparently I cannot get enough of roasted things this week).
I decided on a whim to pick up some Concord Grapes at the last market with the intention of making jelly. I quickly learned that making concord grape jelly is a slightly painful process, but resulted in hands down the best grape jelly I’ve ever had. Also, the house smelled absolutely amazing. So I’m going to say it was worth it.