The Season of All Seasons

For a foodie it’s got to be summer. Depending somewhat on where you live, the emphasis can be on the late spring and early summer months, and all those very firsts of the season: the first asparagus, the first radishes, the first strawberries, new potatoes, etc. Or it can be on late summer with the wild berries, vegetables that are finally ready for a harvest after many months of sun and rain, wild mushrooms… There are so many ways to enjoy the fresh produce of the season, but let me share some of my very favourites with you.

Asparagus

Make sure to buy only very crisp and erect asparagus and leave the drooping ones at the market. Have a bite of fresh “raw” asparagus; it should taste good and crispy uncooked as well. Most of the time, I find that green asparagus don’t require peeling, just chop off the woody ends. White asparagus should be carefully peeled. Grilling is an excellent way to prepare asparagus, but regardless of your chosen cooking method – boiling, steaming or frying – less is definitely more. My advice is to undercook rather than overcook and they will turn out perfect. It is just a matter of few minute, depending of course on how thick they are.

 

Strawberries

The best way to enjoy strawberries is definitely from hand to mouth, just as they are. I believe there should be an obligatory amount of strawberries consumed by every person during the summer months. Fresh strawberries from the field are something special, bursting with summer joy, leaving their hothouse cousins behind. The best thing about strawberries is that they can be served with anything. Of course they’re absolutely marvellous with cream, ice cream and such, but try them in salads as well, pairing them with white cheese or mozzarella, or add a new twist to your Mexican cooking by serving your tacos with strawberry salsa. Strawberries love smoked salmon, too. Flavour your dessert with black pepper and basilica, strawberries love them too.

A wonderful finger food dessert tip: Choose big, fat strawberries and dig out the green stem. Fill the cavities with lemon flavoured cream cheese and dip the cheese ends in cookie crumbs. There you have it: a strawberry cheesecake at your fingertips!

 

Spring cabbage

This veg is so full of flavour, so juicy, so crisp. It’s an absolute must as a side to all your grilled foods in the form of a coleslaw. Try seasoning your slaw with sriracha or preserved Moroccan lemons. The thinner you have the patience to slice it, the more elegant it will be. There’s nothing wrong with great big (juicy and crunchy) chunks either. Suite your style. I bet your children (or the child in you) will love sliced cabbage with chopped boiled eggs and sour cream, all mixed together. A pinch of sugar and another of salt and you’re set.

 

New potatoes

Boil or steamed and served with butter and salt – new potatoes are my absolute favourite summer delicacy, especially served with any kind of fish, pickled herring or cold smoked salmon. But just like asparagus, don’t overcook them or leave them standing in their cooking water after they’re done. Drain them quickly and cover the pot with a kitchen towel to help remove the moisture, you can leave them in the pot on the hob to keep warm after you’ve turned off the heat.

The season of all seasons. For foodies it’s got to be summer. Don’t you agree?

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