Summer is the best time of year for foods in the Pacific Northwest. We have a great bounty of flavorful produce, fresh-caught seafood, and surprises in foraged products. Not only are there hundreds of tasty products in season right now, there are lots of fun ways to use them for creative, delicious meals and dishes.
Some of our favorite Washington products that can be found at the farmer’s markets, sourced from eastern Washington farms, or recovered from our skilled urban foragers are listed below with some unique ways to enjoy them:
- Celery: Crisp and slightly bitter, celery is a fantastic product to add some hearty crunch to a dish. It also has some important vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, and potassium. For a delicious, fresh summer salad with celery, mix some cooked brown rice, celery, raisins, chopped nuts, parsley, green onions, and mandarin oranges in a bowl and chill. Click here for a recipe.
- Eggplant: People love these vibrantly colored globes. Technically a fruit, but normally used in savory dishes, eggplant is a delicious ingredient for late summer cooking. It’s known for its use in ratatouille, but for something a little more unique, you could make Baked Balsamic Eggplant Fries (they’re gluten-free!). If you want to enjoy some eggplant at Lloyd Martin, make sure you try the Hawaiian Swordfish, which is made with an eggplant caponata.
- Blackberries: Foragers are out there hunting onions, garlic, and mushrooms year-round, but during August, the blackberries start becoming ripe and juicy! The berries are most popularly used for desserts and snacking, but an interesting savory use of the tart fruit is a blackberry spinach salad, with crumbled feta cheese, fresh baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and chopped walnuts.
Corn: The cobs are coming in! Washington corn is ripening and coming off the stalks to fill up farmer’s markets and roadside stands. Whether you’re enjoying it off the cob at a barbecue, or adding it to a summer salad for a bit of sweetness, it’s a summer classic. Make a wonderful Southwest Goat Cheese Pizza with corn, Poblano pepper and arugula for a refreshing, light summer meal – here’s the recipe. Our Seared Scallop on the menu right now is a must-try, with corn, bacon and summer truffle.
- Cantaloupe: Sweet, juicy and delectable, cantaloupe and melons are in season now, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Cut and snack or enjoy in a nice salad made with arugula, sliced prosciutto and a light drizzle of balsamic dressing. We’re currently serving pork belly with a melon salad made with arugula and ricotta.
What products are you looking forward to cooking with for late summer dishes?