Yes, I know. Who wants to cook when the weather is nice? Not me, that’s for sure! But just like enjoying the summer while we have it, we should take advantage of all the beautiful local fruits and vegetables that are here now. It’s the Northeast, you know! I encourage you to OVERDOSE on the produce… remember February?
Here’s what I do: Stop for coffee. Hit the farm stand/ Farmers Market. (20 minutes give or take). Buy 3 lbs of the best looking native fruit or vegetable I can find. Bring it home (no closed up car for these beauties) *note to self: create “veggies on board” bumpersticker. Go to the beach, the pool, your porch. Whatever, your ‘happy place’.
When you get home do this: if its a veggie, wash, slice and dice. You can now sauté, roast or grill in foil later. Put on music.If you get an invitation or a better offer than being on duty, freeze them in a single layer /in a plastic zippered bag (I’ve been cautioned on using name brands…not that I really believe that Johnson & Johnson will care).
If it’s a fruit : eat some, then macerate the rest with some sugar (not much) and fresh lemon.Cover and refrigerate. Leave 2 hours or 2 days. If it looks too delicious to do anything else but put it on whole grain waffles, brown rice,or yogurt just do it. If you want to eat these in the winter, make a jam, jelly,or compote – and can it! I’ve already made the most gorgeous Strawberry Jam with Aged Balsamic & Black Pepper, Blueberry Lemon Compote, and Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce with Raspberry Liqueur. Just small amounts of each. Probably not for gift giving.Or….. Strain the juice and make a Shrub which is refreshing in a cocktail, or the way I like it…with sparkling water.Now that doesn’t take much time, does it? Here’s the recipe I’m using from the book Shrubs- An Old Fashioned Drink For Modern Times by Michael Dietsch http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/06/cold-processed-berry-shrub-recipe.html