Soaking Up the Last of the Summer Sun in September
Labor day weekend can be bittersweet. Making the unofficial official end to the summer season and with that bringing the start of fall and the new school year. However, with the sun still shining bright and some long warm days still left ahead, it is important to take time to relax and celebrate this long weekend, enjoying what the end of the summer season still has to offer!
Fresh produce such as watermelon, corn, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peaches, and berries have been filling tables and fridges and farm stands all summer long. So when planning for the Labor Day feast, you may be hesitant to use these same fruits and vegetables, wondering if the best of summer would still be in season in September.
Most summer produce actually stays ripe throughout the start of fall. Fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, and blackberries actually come into their prime ripeness in these later months of summer. Vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, summer squash, and eggplant also are in-season late into September.
Along with these late summer finds, some classic fall produce also starts to become in season during September. When shopping for this weekend, look out for apples, pears, grapes, and plums which start to really shine this month. Also, green beans, kale, cabbage, and okra come in season at the start of September. So try mixing some of your summer season stables with these new fall additions this weekend to make the most out of the end-of-summer-start-to-fall season.
Eating the most in-season fruits and vegetables not only ensures we are getting the ripest produce of the moment, but fruits and vegetables picked at their prime ripeness also have the most nutrient content. Local produce is not only better for us, but it also helps the local economy, helping farmers and growers maintain local farmland, so they can offer the best in-season produce in your area year round!
So when planning for your big Labor Day bash this weekend, take a second to stop at your local farmers market or farm stand to pick you some of the best of summer while they are still available. Try adding in some of your own fall favorites and you will wow the crowd with the perfect blend of fall and summer flavors.
Check out our two recipes below for ideas on how to use some of the best produce picks this weekend!
Melon & Tomato Salsa
7 ingredients – 5 minutes – 4 servings
|1/2 Cantaloupe (small, cut into cubes)|
|1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (quartered)|
|1/2 cup Red Onion (finely chopped)|
|1/2 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)|
|2 Garlic (clove, minced)|
|2 Lime (juiced)|
|Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)|
- Add the cantaloupe, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, garlic, and juice of the lime to a bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Pan Seared Peaches with Dukkah
11 ingredients – 10 minutes – 2 servings
|1 tbsps Hazelnuts (roasted, unsalted)|
|1 1/3 tbsps Almonds (roasted, unsalted)|
|1 1/2 tsps Seasame Seeds (white and/or black, toasted)|
|1 1/2 tsps Coriander Seed|
|1/4 tsp Fennel Seed|
|1/4 tsp Cumin (ground)|
|Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)|
|1/2 tsp Coconut Oil|
|2 Peaches (halved, pit removed)|
|1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt|
|1/4 cup Mint Leaves (optional, lightly torn)|
- Combine the hazelnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin, salt, and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until you reach a coarse grainy texture. Set aside.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the coconut oil. Place the peach on the skillet cut side down. Sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until charred.
- Divide the yogurt evenly between bowls. Add the peaches and top with the dukkah and mint leaves, if using. Enjoy!