It has been hot here, I mean really uncomfortably hot and humid and even though I have AC it’s still hard to use the stove. It’s been a few weeks since I have gone to the Farmers Market in my neighborhood, each week I went I was disappointed to find nothing, so I decided to check it out this weekend and I happily found some beautiful produce. There are still no strawberries though, did I miss them? Every year I see basket after basket of gooseberries and until this year I have never bought them, I really don’t know what to do with them. Same with the red currants, I have had red currant jam, dried currants in Persian rice, but have not actually bought and made anything with fresh berries. It’s just me and Percy and as you can see from the photo, as my Mom would say my eyes are bigger than my stomach. How can you resist when you see produce this beautiful, it’s impossible for me. I tend to shop with my eyes, if something looks beautiful, even if I don’t know how to use, it will probably end up in my basket.
Weather wise summer is my least favorite season, I am not a person who enjoys being in the sun, I detest being hot and sweaty and braving the heat to go to the Green Market was uncomfortable, but once I saw all of that produce I forgot how hot it was outside, that is until I had to lug it all home. I have 2 tomato plants in the garden that are producing some cherry tomatoes, in dribs and drabs. I keep a container by the door and religously pick a few ripe tomatoes each day. Maybe someday soon I will have enough to make a salad. My zucchini plant never produced anything except for one zucchini blossom that I let sit, thinking it would turn into a zucchini, it didn’t.
My favorite salad is simple, cucumber and tomato, maybe a little onion and grilled bread. After buying the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and the seedless Persian cucumbers I knew that is what I had to make. A few days ago I harvested a huge amount of basil from my garden and made pesto. For this salad, the bread is slathered with pesto and grilled, then broken or cut in bite size pieces and added to the cucumbers and tomatoes. The dressing is simple, olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes I will add some crumbled feta or ricotta salata. The salad is incredibly flavorful, fresh organic produce and bread that is grilled with pesto make an absolutely delicious and satisfying meal.
I will shamefully admit that I have never eaten or cooked with gooseberries or fresh currants, it’s hard to believe that every year I pass them up at the farmers market without so much as a glance back. This year is different, I grabbed 2 lovely punnets of gooseberries green and purple and some red currants. Now that they are in my hot little hands what to do with them? They taste pretty sour, I like sour so find it appealing but I don’t think I could sit there and eat them by the handful. Doing an internet search there is really not very many recipes using gooseberries, there is compote, jam and pie and a few savory recipes as sort of a chutney with meat as well as beverages. I love wikipedia, vital information at the touch of a keypad, according to this online source there are a few varieties of gooseberries and they are quite popular in England. The three varieties noted are the European/North American, Indian and Peruvian Gooseberry. The Indian gooseberry seems to be the most nutritious with the highest vitamin C content. All contain moderate levels of anti oxidents.
This post is too long, because I dislike having too much information in one post, it will be divided into two and the recipes will come later. In closing here are Percy’s thoughts on the summer heat. Wishing everyone a relaxing Sunday!!