Eating seasonally means keeping an open mind and open appetite.
This morning I strolled the garden to see what needed harvested. I found Chioggia beets and lots of kale, which is the only thing in the garden that is thriving, not just holding on by a thread, after a week of triple digit heat index and neglect. Throw in a giant bowl of figs I picked Sunday morning and a salad was in order.
I wanted to roast the beets but I couldn’t fathom turning on the oven with the AC on, instead I slow cooked them in a skillet with a little coconut oil. They didn’t get as sweet and roasty but it was a good compromise.
While the beets did their thing I had many a fig ‘n Dubliner snack stack.
Red Russian Kale topped with stove-top ‘roasted’ Chioggia beets, fresh figs, blue cheese, walnuts, and drizzled with fig balsamic vinegar reduction.
Every since I started making a balsamic vinegar reduction I don’t like it any other way, reducing makes it sweeter, less sharp, and a little syrupy so it holds onto the produce better. It’s super simple to make, just simmer some balsamic vinegar in an open sauce pan until it starts to coat a spoon. The smell can be a little intense, I don’t mind it but I try to make it when Tate’s not home because he says it burns his eyes and nose.
Want to take it up a notch? Add in some fruit while you simmer. Last month I used cherries, yesterday it was sliced figs. The fruit sugars help sweeten, of course, and also add to the syrupy quality while imparting their particular flavor into the vinegar. The vinegar infused fruit is a delicious addition to salads, just chop it fine and throw it in for little bursts of flavor.
Do you go to the market or the garden with a plan or let the food-of-the-moment guide you? What are you loving these days? My tomatoes are just starting to come in and there are bitty, baby cucumbers starting to take shape. Cucumber-tomato-basil salad has been a long standing favorite of mine and it won’t be long before I will be savoring one a day.