In Santa Cruz, we are surrounded by Farmer’s Markets (almost daily!) bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, not to mention meats, breads, fresh sauerkraut…. you name it!
As we enter into fall, those sweet, tasty stone fruits and berries are becoming few and far between. Now is the time for soups, stews and tasty roasted root veggies. Squashes, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, kale, chard, apples, pears and sweet tomatoes are abundant!
Here are my pics of the week PLUS one of my fav recipes.
Beets are an amazing food! Many benefits of eating beets include: lowering blood pressure (drinking a glass of fresh beet juice), supporting detoxification, lowering inflammation, anticancer properties, and they are rich in nutrients and fiber. And don’t forget about the greens, which you can treat like any other dark leafy green…saute, juice, add to soups…the options are endless!
For the beets, you can grate them raw into salads, roast them and lightly drizzle with olive oil (great with toasted walnuts and a few chunks of goat cheese), juice them, make beet kvass, or borscht soup. If you are unsure if you like beets, give them a fair try…when prepared well, they are amazing.
I had to include a photo of the flowers! They are too amazing to pass up and are always guaranteed to brighten up your day and home.
Run, don’t walk and get some tomatoes before they are gone. There are many different varieties to choose from. My favs are the dry farm toms, but don’t miss out on the heirloom or cherry tomatoes. One of my favorite late summer recipes from Jamie Oliver (Jamie at Home) is The Mothership Tomato Salad! …this recipe is great for an every day dinner, but wonderful to take to a pot luck too!
The Mothership Tomato Salad
2 1/4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, different shapes and colors
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good pinch dried oregano
Red wine or balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
This is an incredible tomato salad but there are two things to remember if you want to wow your guests with something so simple. The first is that you should try to get a mixture of different, tasty, local (if possible) tomatoes in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Second, the flavor is brought out by salting the tomatoes, so don’t skip this bit. Some people get worried about putting this much salt on their food, but the bulk of it will drip off, leaving you with really beautiful, intensely flavored tomatoes.
If you can get hold of some dried flowering oregano then do, as it has the most heavenly flavor. Feel free to use the dried stuff that you get in a little container, but it can taste a bit like sawdust when compared to the fruity, fragrant flavor you get from the flowering variety. Oregano is also great to grow in the garden.
Depending on the size of your tomatoes, slice some in half, some into quarters and others into uneven chunks. Straightaway this will give you the beginnings of a tomato salad that’s really brave and exciting to look at and eat. Put the tomatoes into a colander and season with a good pinch of sea salt.
Give them a toss, season again and give a couple more tosses. The salt won’t be drawn into the tomatoes; instead it will draw any excess moisture out, concentrating all the lovely flavors. Leave the tomatoes in the colander on top of a bowl to stand for around 15 minutes, then discard any juice that has come out of them.
Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl and sprinkle over the oregano. Make a dressing using 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, the garlic and the chile. Drizzle the tomatoes with enough dressing to coat everything nicely.
This is a fantastic tomato salad, which is totally delicious to eat on its own. It’s also great served with some balls of mozzarella or some nice, grilled ciabatta bread.