Vegetables and fruit in season just now: aubergine, courgettes, artichoke and cherries

I never now what fruit and vegetables are meant to be in season! And, of course, “in season” is a technicality in Scotland, where it’s pretty hard to grow most things. We subscribe to delicious magazine and the August issue had an article (and hopefully the first of a regular feature) about What’s good now (p20).

Baba ganoush is the first recipe that springs to mind. I posted a recipe for this aubergine dip a few weeks ago, and here’s another Slimming World friendly version:

  • Cut the aubergine in half lengthways. Spray with olive oil Fry Light. Roast until soft and shrivelled.
  • Scoop out the flesh and blend (in a food processor or with a hand blender) with crushed garlic (3 or more cloves), lemon juice (from 1 lemon) and fat-free Greek yoghurt to bind the ingredients together.
  • Serve with vege sticks for dipping.

The best thing about growing your own courgettes are courgettes flowers, which are simply delicious when cooked. I first tried them in Italy, when we visited a Capuchin monastery for lunch. I always try to get courgette flowers when we are in Italy, and once managed to get some from our own garden in the UK! I cook them very simply: dipped in a light batter (corn flour mixed with egg whites) and fried until golden, and served immediately.

To fully appreciate the freshness and flavour of the courgette itself, slice the courgette thinly lengthways, drizzle with oil (or spray with Fry Light) and griddle the long strips until charred lines appear. Mix crumbled feta, lemon juice nad oregano through the courgette strips and serve as a side dish, with pasta or over slices of freshly baked bread as a sandwich.

Globe artichokes
The classic way to eat globe artichokes are on their own: boiled, served with melted butter or Hollandaise sauce.

  • Discard the toughest outer leaves and trim the stems.
  • Boil in a large pan of water with a little lemon juice for 20-30 minutes until an inner leaf pulls away easily.
  • Serve whole, immediately. Pull the leaves away, dip them base-down and scrape the flesh away with your teeth.
  • Remove the hairy choke. then eat the heart.

In my opinion cherries are best eat fresh. They are perfect on their own, but would also be great in a salad: stone and halve the cherries and mix with watercress, crumbled goat’s cheese, croutons and toasted walnuts; drizzle with balsamic dressing and serve.

I have a cherry pitter! It saves alot of time if you have cherries (or olives, for that matter) to stone.

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