Food & Drink

Guide to Late Summer Produce

by KM Team September 14, 2017
ReadGuide to Late Summer Produce

They say that all good things must come to end, and as tired as this cliché may feel, it rings especially true when summer turns into fall. Though fall brings its fair share of seasonal delights—cozy blankets, colorful foliage, pumpkin in just about everything—it’s still sad to say goodbye to summer. Maybe it’s because summer’s end means going back to school (or work) or that winter is just around the corner, but it’s easy to get nostalgic about sunny days past. One tried-and-true way to soothe the end-of-summer blues? Head to the farmers market, stock up on what’s left of the summer harvest, and ease into autumn with a hearty, home-cooked meal.

To find out which fruits and vegetables are in season at the tail end of summer, we turned to our friends Anca and Christine of Huckle & Goose. “We love September and October because it’s when everything seems to meet at the market… the best of summer and fall overlap during this time,” they told us. “This sense of abundance spills into our hospitality as well—you want to share all this food with those around you. So many beautiful tomatoes that you just can’t eat alone, fragrant peaches that beg to be pilled in a pie, and more corn than you can carry home.”

Below, they share what produce to look for at the farmers market in late summer, plus some soul-soothing recipes to make the summer-to-fall transition a little easier.

What’s in Season in Late Summer

Eggplants
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Peppers
Squash (like butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti)
Corn
Apples
Grapes
Stone fruit (like peaches and plums)
Figs

Ratatouille Couscous Bowl with Roasted Garlic & Basil Dressing

Serves 4

3/4 cup Israeli couscous
6 baby zucchinis, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Japanese eggplants, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
3 sweet peppers, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil, for roasting
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
1/2 lemon, juiced, about 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped or snipped with kitchen shears

Cover the couscous with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and simmer on low according to the package directions, usually about 10 minutes. Check for doneness, then drain well and let the water evaporate so you don’t have soggy couscous. If you can make this up to a week in advance and store in the fridge, even better.

Preheat oven to 425°F and pile sliced vegetables on a baking sheet. Toss well with grapeseed oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread them out along with the garlic cloves and roast for 25-35 minutes until soft and browned in some spots.

Peel the soft, roasted garlic into a small bowl along with lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir in chopped basil; taste and adjust if needed.

Combine the couscous, vegetables, and dressing into bowls, then taste again, sprinkling in more salt or basil if needed. Enjoy! This is delicious cold and perfect for lunch-packing. You can make all the components up to a week in advance.

Roasted Eggplant & Golden Tomato Rigatoni

Serves 4

1 lb thin eggplant (like fairy tale or Japanese), sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely diced
7 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp anchovy paste, or 4-5 minced anchovies
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 lb golden tomato, really ripe, finely chopped
1/2 lb rigatoni, or another large, tube-shaped pasta
1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, plus extra for shaving on top of pasta bowls
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped or snipped in thin strips with kitchen shears
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a sheet pan, toss eggplant rounds with grapeseed oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread out so they’re not overlapping, then slide in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender and browned in some spots. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large deep-sided skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Once hot, add in onions; cook for 5-7 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and anchovy paste sauteing for a couple more minutes. Pour in the wine, simmer until reduced, then scrape in chopped tomatoes off your cutting board. Simmer on very low, partially covered, with 3/4 teaspoon salt until thickened and saucy. Taste for salt and add a teaspoon of sugar or splash of heavy cream to round it out if it’s too acidic.

While that’s going, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside if the timing doesn’t work out well, but ideally time it so you can scoop pasta out with a skimmer and toss it directly into the sauce.

In the skillet, gently toss the sauce with pasta, cheese, roasted eggplant, and mint to taste. Serve with extra shaved cheese and sip on crisp white wine.

Photography and recipes by Anca and Christine of Huckle & Goose, a web app for thoughtful, seasonal meal planning. If you like the idea of putting seasonal food on the table but don’t have time to plan, give it a try.

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