What’s In Season – September

  • By Kim
  • 3 September, 2013
  • Comments Off

WineOnTheVine

People in the Bay Area know what it means when September hits … harvest! Specifically, grape harvest in wine country! If you drive up to Sonoma and Napa right now, you’ll see long stretches of orderly grape vines, laden with bunches of tiny grapes. In the next few weeks, the vines will be picked clean, and usually by mid-October, you’ll see nothing but bare branches where there used to be green and golden leaves. It’s really gorgeous – I highly recommend it if you are visiting the area.

The weather will start to cool all around the US in the next few weeks as we transition into Autumn. Since it’s only cool, rather than cold, there are still plenty of fruits and non-starchy vegetables to enjoy. I recently was given this Local Foods Wheel, and it’s been super helpful in reminding me what’s in season. Mine is specific to the Bay Area, but they also have wheels for SoCal, New York Metro area and the Upper Midwest. Be sure to look into what’s fresh wherever you are. Here’s a list of some of the produce in season right now:

  • apples
  • artichokes
  • arugula
  • avocado
  • Beets
  • blackberries
  • corn
  • eggplants
  • figs
  • grapes
  • limes
  • melons
  • okra
  • pears
  • peppers
  • Persimmons
  • quince
  • raspberries
  • tomatoes

I was going to post a grape recipe to keep with this post’s feature picture. However, the more I thought about it, I realized that I don’t really like grapes in things. I’ll eat them in fruit salads and in the occasional rice dish or salad, but I really just like my grapes plain and very cold. Frozen even. So instead, I’m going to post an heirloom tomato recipe since they are in season right now. Like, leave your home and go to the market and get them RIGHT NOW since the season will be over by the time you find parking. But they are so lovely and delicious that it will all be worth it. The following isn’t much cooking; it’s more assembling. Of course, the bread will taste better charred from a grill, but I usually make this just on bread toasted under the broiler. It works nearly as well. The end result is beautiful due to the different tomato colors.

tomato-ombre-md109341_vertTomato Ombre on Grilled Rustic Bread
From Martha Stewart.com
Serves 16

Ingredients
1 large, long rustic Italian loaf, such as ciabatta
2 cloves garlic, split in half crosswise
3 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, ranging in color from red or orange to yellow and green
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, divided
Freshly ground pepper

Directions
Preheat grill to high heat. Trim top crust of loaf slightly to make a flat surface, then slice loaf horizontally to create 2 long halves. Grill bread until moderately charred, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Rub bread on both sides of each half with garlic and place, cut sides up, on a platter.

Cut tomatoes into thin slices. Collect accumulated juices and spoon onto bread. Drizzle bread with a generous 1/4 cup oil. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt; season with pepper.

Shingle tomato slices on bread, arranging by color and covering each entire surface. Drizzle remaining oil over tomatoes and season with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut tomato-topped bread into wedges and serve.

 

Grapes image by r3v || cls

Tomato Ombre on Grilled Rustic Bread by Maria Robledo, MarthaStewart.com

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