Confident home cooking
peaches
Food Letters

July Food Letter

by Nick

Every month in 2009, I am writing a post detailing some specific things about food in the upcoming month.

Before I get to the food, I have to give a shout out to the Foodie Fights battle happening today. It’s a really close battle with some awesome dishes. Check it out and vote for your favorite at foodiefights.com!

It’s seriously summer now. There is no way around it. July is really the month of abundance and there are so many things that are ripe for the picking it almost isn’t worth trying to sum them up in a newsletter. I’ve picked some of my favorites though that maybe are a bit off the beaten path (not tomatoes!). Hopefully, it will give you some ideas for things to look out for in the markets.

What to Eat in July

Peaches – It’s possible that there is nothing I love more than a perfectly ripe peach. At the same time, I hate an unripe peach. Luckily, most the peaches these days are good and juicy.

Peach Pie - One of the best uses I can think of for this delicious fruit. The perfect application. (@ Pete Bakes)
Peach Passion Granola – Dried peaches round out an awesome homemade granola. (@ No Recipes)
Peaches and Cream Pancakes – I totally wish I would have thought of this. Looks awesome. (@ Butter & Sugar)
Peach Cookies – Peach cookies filled with Nutella? Sure why not. (@ Cafe Chocolada)

Fennel – I cook with fennel a lot, but it is really in its prime this time of year. The bulbs are full and flavorful and it pairs really nicely with lots of other summer flavors.

Fennel and Orange Salad – One of my favorite Macheesmo salads if I do say so myself.
Pork Tenderloin and Braised Fennel – A match made in heaven. Braising fennel sounds good to me. (@ Sophistimom)
Steamed Mussels and Fennel Escabeche – A recipe by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard (@ Steamy Kitchen)
Salmon with Fennel and Olives – A delicious recipe and good looking photo. (@ Sugar Laws)

Mackerel – Holy Mackerel! Ok. I didn’t really know about mackerel being in season until I started researching for this post. Might be worth a trip to the fish hut though…

Seaweed Salad with Mackerel – Ok. So this post is more about the salad than the mackerel, but both look awesome. (@ WrightFood)
BBQ Mackerel – Perfect for a hot July BBQ day. (@ Girl Interrupted Eating)
Potato and Peppered Mackerel Salad – A very interesting take on potato salad! (@ Grubsup)

artichokes_550Artichokes – Ahh the prickly bulb of deliciousness. People are scared of artichokes I think and maybe with reason. They are kind of a pain to prepare. But if you can manage to get through the prep, they are worth it.

Grilled Artichokes – I’ve never tried these guys on the grill before, but they look delicious! (@ 5 second rule)
Veal and Artichoke Avgolemono – An interesting Greek dish with a solid explanation on cleaning these little guys. (@ Kalofagas)
One more tomorrow… I’m posting an awesome artichoke recipe tomorrow, so be sure to come back for it.

Fourth of July - The real holiday this month is happening this weekend! There are a bunch of things you could make for the fantastic fourth. Some good burgers might work or maybe some Texas Caviar? Also, Bon Appetit had an excellent round up of solid Fourth of July dishes.

So that’s it for this food letter. I hope you all have had a good first half of 2009 – I know I have. Enjoy the summer!

Photos by Barbara Rich and me.

Share this post!

3 comments on “July Food Letter

  1. How do you establish seasonality? For example, I know we don’t get peaches up here until late August, and only for a short time, but I do see them at the grocery store, and I understand they are in season elsewhere.

    Living in an extremely intemperate climate, I have tiers of seasonality that I try to adhere to as best I can, though of course nothing much is locally in season for a good 8 months out of the year, so I have to supplement or resort to living on meat for the winter. So of course highest priority is what’s locally in season, then what’s in season in other parts of the country, and then I try to avoid what’s available even though it doesn’t seem to be in season anywhere (read: strawberries), but identifying this last one is the hardest part. Any suggestions?

  2. That’s a good question Aleta. I try to base the things in these posts on roughly what is in season where I’m at because I think DC is kind of an average temperate climate and has sort of a normal growing season.

    As far as identifying what is actually in season locally for you, your best bet is a farmer’s market. You know all that stuff is coming from a local area. In the grocery store it gets hard really fast. I think produce is supposed to be labeled where it was grown, but it can sometimes be hard to find.

    I try to just use common sense though when it comes to that (like the strawberries you mention)… Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to research the origin of every grocery store product though so I just try for the common sense approach. I’m sure I get fooled frequently though using this…

  3. I have to disagree about the comment on unripened peaches. I love a good, crunchy sliced peach with a sprinkle of a mixture of sea salt and chili. Its so refreshing and good.

Leave a Comment