I have always been a strong proponent of seasonal eating. Not only is locally produced seasonal food less expensive but it also tastes a lot better! It also helps to reduce your carbon footprint, and to be honest, I think that it's the most natural and healthiest way to eat.
I was just thrilled to be chosen as the CSMA's Seasonal Food Star of the Month! Yay!! If you click HERE, you can download their Seasonal Calendar of the month which includes some of my seasonal eating and cooking tips and recipes for August eating. You can also read my profile here.
I think August has to be one of my favourite food months as all of the local produce starts ripening and coming in for harvesting. You have all of the early apples and the blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows not to mention all of the blueberries, plums, tomatoes, beans, courgettes, peas, apricots, raspberries, gooseberries . . . there is no end to all the deliciousness which is available to us this month!
I thought it would be fun this morning to share some of my favourite seasonal August Recipes with you all! There's a bit of savoury and a bit of sweet. In short, something for everyone!
We just adore this fresh Corn and Bean Salad which makes great use of the fresh corn, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes which are available at all of the farm shops and markets at the moment! So tasty!
*Corn and Bean Salad*
Beautiful and colourful, this is one very tasty, and healthy salad! Try it out at your next barbeque!
For the dressing:
the juice of 3 limes
170g tub of Greek Yoghurt
(about 1 cup)
2 ounces olive oil (1/4 cup)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
a large handful of fresh coriander, chopped (cilantro)
For the salad:
1 (415g or 15 ounce) tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
1 (415g or 15 ounce) tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, uncooked (can use one tin of niblets corn, drained)
1 medium courgette, washed, trimmed and cut into small cubes
1 red bell pepper, trimmed and cut into small cubes
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into cubes
6 spring onionss, thinly sliced
Make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice, yoghurt, olive oil, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Fold in the chopped coriander.
In a large salad bowl, combine the beans, corn, chickpeas, red pepper, courgettes and spring onions. Pour the yoghurt lime dressing over top and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.
This is a beautiful and simple dish which makes wonderful use of the fresh summer vegetables from the garden or local markets in August. This fabulous Pasta with Chicken and Summer Vegetables dish with it's delicious sauce and hugely adaptable variety of vegetables is sure to become a favourite with your family! Very fresh and tasty! Quick to make as well! All you need is a fresh crusty loaf and you have a complete meal, plus you will haved gotten in more than a few of your needed five a day!
*Pasta with Chicken, Pancetta and Summer Vegetables*
This is one of those quick and easy dishes where you can throw in just whatever vegetables you have to hand. I had courgettes, beans, leeks and tomatoes. You may have something else. Chard is very nice, as is asparagus and peas.
12 ounces Pasta, cooked until al dente
3 ounces chopped pancetta
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 whole leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced thin
a large handful of garden fresh beans (I used a mixture of green and yellow)
1 medium courgette, washed, sliced in half and then into half moons
4 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 ounces of finely grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces dry white wine (1/2 cup)
4 ounces double cream (1/2 cup)
a small handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Shaved Parmesan Cheese to serve
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well, (reserve a mugfull of the pasta cooking water) rinse, drain again and then set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the fat has been rendered and the pancetta has started to brown. Toss in the chicken and leeks. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the leeks have softened. Add the beans and courgettes. Cook and stir for several minutes. Add the tomatoes and the wine, allowing it to bubble up. Allow to bubble until the wine reduces by half. Stir in the cream and the cheese. Cook and stir to melt. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and stir in the basil leaves. Serve immediately with some Parmesan Shavings scattered over top. Delicious!
Those with a sweet tooth won't want to miss out on this delicious Lemon Poundcake with it's fabulous blueberry sauce! I love this sauce. It's great with this cake, or stirred into lemon yogurt, spooned over ice cream, on pancakes . . . there is no end to it's delicious versatility! The cake is no slouch either. You will love it! The two together are a marriage made in heaven.
*Lemon Pound Cake with a Blueberry Sauce*
Serves 12 to 16
A delicious lemon scented buttery cake, topped with a lovely lemon butter icing and served with a blueberry sauce. Heaven.
For the cake:
250g (9ounces) butter, softened
250g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large free range eggs
250g (2 cups) self raising flour, sifted
For the lemon butter icing:
3 TBS butter
110g (3 3/4 ounce) icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
For the Blueberry Sauce:
200g fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 TBS water
25g caster sugar (a scant 1/4 cup)
the grated zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350*C/180*F/gas mark 4. Butter and line the base of a deep 8 inch square cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Beat in the lemon zest and the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating only until just combined after each addition. Fold the sifted flour into the batter in two batches. Spread the batter into the prepared baking tin and level off.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until nicely risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you think it is getting too dark, cover loosely with some foil wrap. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out oonto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the blueberry sauce, place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer over low heat just until the berries begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
To make the icing beat the butter with an electric whisk until very soft and white. Beat in the icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Spread over the top of the cake.
Serve the cake cut into squares with the blueberry sauce on the side.
Got plums? Then you will want to take advantage and bake up this fabulous Plum Clafoutis! Who says clafoutis can only be made with cherries? Plums make an excellent Clafoutis! So simple and so tasty!
Serves 8 - 10
Deliciously simple . . . yet impressive.
softened butter and caster sugar to butter the dish with
10 ripe but firm plums, halved and pitted
4 large free range eggs
6 TBS caster sugar
5 TBS plain flour
450ml of cream (2 cups)
1 TBS orange flower water
the grated zest of one orange
70g of flaked almonds (1/2 cup)
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark5. Butter a large round baking dish or flan dish. Dust with sugar, knocking any excess out.
Place the plums down into the dish, cut sides down. Beat the eggs together with the sugar and flour until smooth. Whisk in the cream, orange flower water and orange zest. Pour the resulting batter over the plums in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the almonds. Bake for 40 minutes, until well risen, lightly browned and set. Remove from the oven. Cool to lukewarm. Dust with icing suga and cut into wedges to serve.
Note - baking times are subjective and vary according to your own oven. I can only speak from my experience with my own oven. If you think that your clafoutis is browning too quickly, then you may loosely cover it with some foil during the last ten minutes of baking. If you find that it's not set by the end of the suggested cooking time, then by all means leave it in for a bit longer. I also like to have all of my ingredients at room temperature when I start, so take your eggs out of the fridge about an hour before you want to use them and measure out the cream and allow that to come to room temperature as well. This may allow for a shorter baking time. If your ingredients are cold then it will take longer of course!
Also I use Double Cream for this.
WE just adore this Apple and Blackberry In and Out. No pretention here. Just plain and simple ingredients presented in a plain and simple way.
Mmmm . . . you just can't beat a buttery pudding, filled with tart apples and sweet blackberries (my addition) topped with a healthy dollop of rich clotted cream. It's a MUST!
*Apple and Blackberry In and Out*
Apparently this is a real favourite in Devon when made with just apples. I added Blackberries because they taste good, and they always look so pretty when paired with apples.
8 ounces self raising flour (2 cups)
4 ounces shredded beef suet (1/2 cup Can use grated ice cold butter instead)
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
a large handful of blackberries
1/2 pint of milk (about 1 1/4 cups)3 TBS Caster Sugar
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a 9 inch round baking dish. Set aside.
Mix the flour, suet and sugar together. Add the apples and enough milk to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency. Fold in the blackberries, gently. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and then bake until it is brown and crunchy on top (30 to 35 minutes.) Eat warm, spooned out into bowls and topped with dollops of clotted Cream.
Note: If your apples are very tart, you may add a bit more sugar if you wish.
There is nothing nicer than a nice pan of hash for supper! It's quick. It's easy. It's delicious. This one makes good use of new potatoes, red onions and corn . . . and has an added spark of sweet chili sauce! Fabulous! Economical. Simple to make. If you are like me, you always have a tin of corned beef in the larder! It's so handy for spur of the moment meals. You can use fresh sweet corn if you have it rather than a tin!
*Corned Beef, Sweet Corn and Red Onion Hash*
A quick and simple version of corned beef hash, that not only uses things I always have in my store cupboard, but also tastes fabulous!
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
340g tin of corned beef (regular sized tin)
330g tin of sweetcorn, drained well (about 1 cup)
a large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 TBS sweet Chili Sauce
500g pack of small new potatoes, halved
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper
Cook your potatoes in a large pan of boiling lightly salted water for about 12 to 15 minutes, until just tender. Drain well and cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut in half again.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened with out browning.
Place the potatoes, corned beef (flaked), sweetcorn and sweet chili sauce into a large bowl. Tip in the softened onion and give it all a good mix. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper.
Heat the remainder of the oil in the skillet. Once hot add the potato mixture and cook, over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes begin to brown and crisp up.
Preheat your gril to high. Smooth the potatoes over into a flat cake. Increase the heat to high under the pan and cook for a few minutes to really crisp the bottom. (Cover the handle of the skillet with foil if it is not oven safe.) Flash the pan under the grill for about another 3 to 4 minutes to brown the top.