with june comes the end of the school year, loads of beautiful bouquets gracing every room, more free time, and the best and freshest local produce that we’ve been waiting all year for! truly an amazing time, this late june.
thanks to reading both animal, vegetable, miracle and how not to die in the spring months, i am completely pumped up to put my apron back on and take advantage of the flavors only available this season! (both books highly recommended, by the way, if you want to get more into either local or more healthful eating)
i’ve been waiting eeeeevvver so patiently for the arrival of the first csa share box (above) of the season for the early summer produce that my dreams are made of. i was not disappointed! inside i found delicious, ripe local strawberries (is there really a better season than strawberry season?!), lacinato kale*, and some new vegetables to me including kohlrabi and garlic scapes! i must confess that i actually had to look at a vegetable identification chart as i was puzzled what the heck this bulbous, green and purple alien-looking thing was. (just in case you don’t know either, it’s the vegetable in the lower-right corner of the box) with the garlic scapes, it was pretty easy to tell. i just bit into one and yeppp, it’s a garlic scape, alright! you can use these strange, stringy asparagus-like vegetables in place of garlic, in stir-fries, or make into pesto, but just know it looses much of its garlic bite after cooking.
*a note on kale: it’s a well-known joke with expats in the czech republic about asking “where can i find kale?!” the answer: mostly nowhere unless you’re suuuper lucky and spot it at a farmer’s market or something. so my mind was reeling, seeing it in the box. kale caeser salads and kale chips are coming my way!
so with loooooads of lettuce come loads of salads. i made my go-to baslamic dressing (one part olive oil, one part basalmic vinegar, add a couple cloves grated garlic and a tea spoon of honey, shake!) in a jar in the fridge for easy access for both myself and alex. normally i make dressing up as i go, but i feel like having ready-prepared dressing in the fridge and pre-washed lettuce makes everything so much easier for the lazy moments! my favorite salad combinations of the moment are: nectarines, toasted walnuts, feta, and strawberries OR cucumbers, tomatoes, and sprigs of fresh dill. salads, guys!
this morning, we dined on the balcony and feasted upon chia-oat banana pancakes with fresh fruit. i love that with the addition of the juicy fruit slices, no syrup or sugar is necessary! almost all meals (on low pollen-count days, that is) are automatically moved outdoors these days. i’m so excited for our annual summer solstice picnic today!
here are some of the fun meals and things i’ve been cooking up lately…
(clockwise from top-left)
>> the best dessert of my life, probably: a tiramisu-inspired layered desert with strawberries, mascarpone, and a vanilla cookie base that tasted like a strawberry cheesecake meets shortcake thing. it tasted even better when left in the fridge over night!
>> pesto, pappardelle pasta, and every vegetable in the pantry with a shred of parmesan on top. green pasta for the win!
>> a light bruschetta dinner! prosciutto, tomato, nectarines (my favorite) with fresh herbs over a base of cream cheese.
>> mango teriyaki tofu. this teriyaki sauce made from soaked blended dates and using absolutely no added sugar is absolutely inspired. i switched out the chicken for fried tofu… i think it would be even better with more vegetables added, too!
and of course – iced mint tea, the most refreshing summer beverage.
happy summer! what have you been cooking up this month?