Anybody see your summer slipping away? With your child’s school supply list in front of you or the work appointment reminders filling up your calendar, there’s no denying that August is fleeting. We are pushing the pause button today with 3 summer ideas for eating well now and later. While the season’s fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready today, we have a few easy ways to hang on to this late summer goodness a bit longer.
1. When in August, eat tomatoes.
For now: We are simply saying, “Get them while supplies last!” There is nothing like a farm grown tomato slice at summer’s end to remind you why eating well is all about what’s in season. While you can chop and seed those tomatoes for a delicious bruschetta, you can also save yourself time by slicing them up Caprese-style with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt. Add a delicious mound of burrata in the middle of all the grown goodness, sprinkle basil throughout, and serve it with a side of toasts to soak up all the juicy flavor.
For later: Did you know you can successfully freeze tomatoes? The structure of the tomato will be lost so don’t expect firm slices. However, once thawed the whole tomatoes peel easily and you’ll be turning them into soups and sauces without losing the taste of summer. Whether you prefer to blanch, peel, and seed them now, freezing about 2 pounds of tomatoes is equivalent to a 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes. Double that and you are on your way to making Phoebe’s Tomato Basil Soup for a future chilly day.
2. When in August, eat corn.
The freshest way you can partake of this golden grain is to buy what’s grown locally and selling at your farm stands and markets. Butter and salt are essentials, but have you tried spicing it up?
Chile Lime Buttered Sweet Corn by Heather Bursch
- 1 hot red chile pepper or jalapeño
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 2 ounces pecorino
- 12 ears of corn, husked
- Under broiler or in a skillet lined with tinfoil, roast pepper until blackened on all sides.
- Toss pepper into a brown paper bag rolled down or cover with a bowl on a plate to create a steamy dome while pepper cools for 15 minutes.
- Run pepper under cold water removing stem, seeds, and skins. Mince the roasted pepper.
- To melt butter, heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan until combined.
- To grill corn break pieces in half or keep whole. Brush corn with melted butter mixture until all sides are covered liberally. Prep to this point an hour ahead and let it rest at room temp, or longer (up to 4 hours) letting it rest in the refrigerator.
- When ready, grill corn until cooked through turning frequently for about 8-12 minutes.
- Rest on a platter with a small swipe of melted remaining butter sauce and a squeeze of lime. Pass the salt and limes to serve.
- Optional: Using a microplane, grate Pecorino cheese on top to finish.
For later: And just like tomatoes, corn can be frozen and enjoyed in the months to come. Blanch the corn cobs to remove any dirt and enzymes that will break it down if frozen raw. Let it boil 4-6 minutes and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the ear of corn. Freeze corn kernels and you’ll have summer’s sweet harvest to make soups like Pinch of Yum’s Chipotle Corn Chowder, a Thanksgiving corn bake, or a corn salsa to brighten your winter mood.
3. When in August, eat peaches.
Lucky for us all, the peach growing season varies across the map and continues all summer long. In June we were tasting peach popsicles and granita from the Texan peach crop. In July we were eying the Magical Peach Arugula Salad from Amy Valpone and testing the fruit-in-foil packed crumbles with Colorado peaches gone camping. But perhaps the most simple way to both eat a peach now and save a peach for later is to follow these steps for how to peel a peach.
For now: Slice in half and twist to pull halves apart. Remove stone pit and slice halves into a bowl. Drizzle full-fat coconut milk or cream, half-and-half, or almond milk on top and enjoy your version of peaches and cream.
For later: After removing stone pit, slice into eighths and lay flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet with slices not touching. Freeze overnight and put frozen peaches into containers of your choice and return to freezer for your winter restoration.