Comfort Foods of Summer
I'm offering a cooking class at 21 Acres this Friday, so if you want to learn how to make a really cool rustic flatbread and have some time, sign up. 21 Acres in Woodinville, is an amazing place and I can't wait for the class. Also on the menu are grilled peppers, garlicky greens, a raw kale and apple salad and a pear-berry clafouti.
Vegetables and fruits are comfort foods for me. And cantaloupe is my late summer comfort food pick. I like to think that I like healthy foods, so I searched to find nutrient levels for cantaloupe. It was a little disappointing because it's kind of obvious:
- beta carotine
- vitamin C
Three Fat Chicks on a Diet said cantaloupe is also great for reducing stress. Not that we have a lot of stress around this house (what can you expect for a two slow-mo hound household?) but still it's a good thing to know--just in case an earthquake hits.
Melon season is fleeting; get these organic gems while you can from River Farm.
Saturday was the last weekend for my favorite cantaloupe. They only had two Fastbreak melons left. Lucky me, because lots of people prefer the French Charantais melon or the green-fleshed Gaila melons.
I got a Gaila melon too, but I'm not a convert. Cantaloupe is still my favorite.
This is Liz from River Farm at the U-District Market.
This time of year, it's best to get there early and pick the lines you want to get in first.
This doesn't really have anything to do with melons, but I feel compelled to make a plug for River Farm fire-roased peppers. I like supporting local farmers, but last week I noticed the Whole Foods near my house also roasts peppers on the weekends. The peppers are cheaper, but they aren't organic, and they come from Hatch, New Mexico. Who knows how they were grown? Plus, you can only get one kind of pepper at Whole Foods, while at River Farm, you can get just about any kind of pepper the farm grows.
Sure River Farm peppers cost more than Whole Foods peppers, but they are so much better, and when you think about prices, consider this: at the market every year, River Farm pays a fire permit fee (currently at $450) just to roast the peppers at the market. So if you wonder why farmers' market food seems to cost a bit more, consider all the various fees farmers must pay for the privilege of selling food at the farmers' markets.
When you buy cheap, you get anonymous food. And it's so nice to sit down to dinner and say this came from a local farmer down the road.
You may have noticed my Cooking Assistant is taking another week off. He'd rather prewash dishes and sniff melons. Who wouldn't? I envy his pampered life. He knows where to find the treasures and how to work the game. I feel used, but it's a good thing. I brought him his favorite carrots from the market.
In celebration of National Organic Harvest Month this past weekend, I brought home two melons. He's found the carrots and quickly moves in to claim them.
I got some blueberries and put them with melon pieces, but Tom and I ate these long before I made sweetened lime juice for the melon.
On Sunday at the Lake Forest Park farmers' market, I found strawberries from 5 Acre Farm. Imagine that, strawberries right before the apples come on full-force. This recipe is adapted from my book. I like mint sprigs best.
Melon and Berries with Sweetened Lime Juice
(Serves 4 to 6)
3 to 4 cups melon cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup berries
1/4 cup lime juice
2 to 3 teaspoons honey (Rockridge Orchards)
Lavender buds, chopped basil leaves, or mint sprigs (optional)
Place fruit in a medium-size mixing bowl.
Blend lime juice and honey in a small bowl. Drizzle over fresh fruit. Gently toss and garnish with herbs, if desired.