Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Veggies and Recipes

Magenta Dahlia and Yellow Calendulas
Dahlia in Calendula Patch

Last Precious Days of Summer, then Fall

Golden days of September have arrived, and with them the bountiful harvests of late summer and early fall. During this transitional time we have a unique chance to mix summer and fall veggies and fruits together in our menus. Combinations such as plums with pears, apples with blueberries, and tomatoes with winter squash and corn are possible during this brief time. Indulge your creativity and invent a mixed fruit crumble or a summer/fall stew!
Apples on Tree
Iconic September Fruit
Fresh pinto beans make their brief annual appearance in farmers markets, along with the last of this year’s corn. Combine these with in-season tomatoes, cilantro, and chili peppers of all levels of spiciness in Mexican dishes. Or go Mediterranean with eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, and fresh oregano. It’s hard to find a “wrong” use for fresh local tomatoes. Even those that look too shriveled to eat raw can be peeled and quartered and dropped into soup for a subtly-enriched broth.

You might want to preserve some summer foods for winter this month. Freezing baked tomato sauce, fresh pinto beans, peaches, strawberries, and basil is easy and will bring excitement to winter meals.  Freeze or dry raw tomatoes from your yard, or can them if you’ve got too many for the freezer. And do gather a few seeds from calendulas, cosmos, poppies, and other flowers to scatter again next spring.

Home Growing Tomatoes
Red Cherries and Green Heirloom
And for those who fear winter and mourn the loss of light as we head towards the equinox, I offer this: Notice the quality of every bit of the light that we have now. It ain’t winter yet, so let’s not rush the season! Let’s revel in September’s warm days and cool nights, enjoy the hints of fall color in the natural world, and appreciate the variety of our harvest.

September Veggies & Fruits

Basil (end of season)
Red and Green Maple Leaves Highlighted in Dark Forest
Japanese Maple in the Redwoods
Green Beans
Italian Herbs
Pinto Beans (fresh)

Pumpkin Ripening on Vine
Pumpkins Not Ripe Yet
Favorite & New September Recipes

Classic Tuscan Marinara (from EdibleParadise.com)
Tuscan Style Garlic Spinach (or other Greens)
Garlic Ginger Kale (or other Greens)
Strawberry Sauce for Shortcake or ice cream
To Die for Blueberry Muffins (from Colleen at Allrecipes.com)

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