We have arrived at the time of the year when everyone starts to get a bit antsy about the end of summer drawing nearer.
It is still 80 degrees, but somehow winter seems to be looming. We are excited for the crisp, cool weather of autumn, but we’re a bit panicked about our progress on our summer bucket list.
We have a list on our notes app of all the hikes and camping spots we hoped to check out. There’s a sticky note on our desks of the restaurants and ice cream spots we wanted to try. There’s that notebook list of the books we want to read, but we’re making way more progress on podcasts these days.
In our humble option, the most important list of all is the summer recipe bucket list. Maybe it’s posted on your fridge or lives rent-free in your mind. It’s a collection of dishes that center around produce that we know will taste 100 times better when it is fresh, local and perfectly in season.
So even though the sun is setting earlier, here in Colorado, we still have at least another month to enjoy the height of the produce season. The variety and abundance of vegetables and fruit is just hitting its peak. Never fear, you’ve still got time to get creative in the kitchen.
We asked some of our Boulder County Farmers Markets staff for their greatest recipe hits of the summer so you can finish your summer cooking on a high note.
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Jan’s Easy Summer Soup
Jan is one of the essential team members of our warehouse team. She meticulously sorts and portions produce for our online orders. So if anyone knows what to do with the vegetables in season right now, it’s Jan.
1/3 jalapeno, sliced
1 tablespoon shallot or green onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 English cucumber, chunked or sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Garnish this cold soup with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and minced herbs.
Jamie Oliver’s Eggplant Parmesan
Rosie’s mother made this recipe during summers when Rosie was a child. And now Rosie has taken to making it herself. Rosie only regrets that she was scared of eggplant up until her teenage years, so she refuses to miss any more opportunities for deliciousness.
3 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
10 crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs or Italian-style panko
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil, and place in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until undersides are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, then turn and bake until other sides are lightly browned.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add onion. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juices. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Add vinegar, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Into a lasagna pan, spoon a small amount of tomato sauce, then add a thin scattering of cheese, then a single layer of eggplant. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and oregano, and just enough olive oil to moisten. Sprinkle on top.Bake until eggplant mixture is bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size of pan and thickness of layers.
— adapted from the New York Times
Grilled Peaches With Whipped Cream
This recipe is actually still on Stephanie’s bucket list. But with peaches still in season for a few more weeks (fingers crossed), there is time to make this wonderfully simple and delicious dessert.
Peaches or apricots, halved and pitted
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Scoop of vanilla ice cream, dollop of whipped cream, or spoonful of Greek yogurt
Heat grill (or cast iron skillet) to high.
Brush cut side of stone fruit with oil.
Grill stone fruit cut-side-down for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and caramelized
Add desired dairy topping and sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts.