Late Summer Cooking

 Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

Late summer means a true bounty of fresh vegetables, fruits and other produce at your fingertips. The produce is generally peak-ripe, delicious and bursting with flavor.

This time of year is a magic time of year to visit Farmer’s Markets - early mornings are the best times to go; no crowds, freshly picked produce, with little bits of dirt hanging in places here and there. You never know what you will come across that looks exceptionally gorgeous and ripe on any particular morning. Food looks and tastes amazing when you use ingredients at their peak! So, choose the best looking produce and that means less coaxing to make it good - meaning you don’t have to use strong seasonings or dressings or cooking methods like roasting to make it flavorful.

 Noodles with Basil Pesto

Noodles with Basil Pesto

In my opinion, one of the most important things about shopping at the farmers market is to have fun: it involves all your senses: sight, smell, touching and tasting.

Talk to the farmers and find out what they are excited about. Or ask any chefs picking up their produce at the market what they are going to do with it. Allow yourself to get creative and inspired and perhaps pick an item you have never used before.

And if you are not sure what to do with a particularly good looking specimen - ask the farmer - they in most instances can point you in the right direction in terms of what preparation works well to bring out the intrinsic characteristics of a particular food - to let the flavor shine forth from within.