if you're like me, you've noticed with considerable alarm the increase in your outlay for provisions. you might also have a slight weight problem like i do, and have a definite need to add additional vegetation to your diet. perhaps you're already a vegetarian (snaps to kona :D), and you've grown bored with your usual lineup of stuff.
perhaps you're already familiar with the concept of eating seasonally, and perhaps not. if not, did you know one can eat better AND cheaper by eating this way? and did you know the vast amount of stuff other than the root veggies and hard squashes to choose from? in our increasingly dire circumstances, both financial and environmental, more of us ought to be giving more thought to what we're eating, and the time of the year we're eating it. take peaches for example. i saw some at the store today. $3.99 a lb, and they're from chile, for fuck's sake. they must be scrumptious.
so, without further ado, here's the list of the stuff that's currently in season, and most of it is widely available.
after the list, you will find a recipe for one of my favorite soups. it contains three of the things on this list. give it a try on some chilly evening. we're having it tonight. it's supposed to get down into the 40's for the first time since last winter tonight, and here in california, that qualifies as cold.
artichokes (second crop)
broccoli rabe (aka rapini)
celeriac (aka celery root)
eggplant (early fall)
grapes (early fall)
green beans (early fall)
jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes)
kohlrabi (late fall)
okra (early fall)
peppers (early fall)
quince [killer with manchego cheese!]
radishes (all types)
shelling beans (early fall)
and now, the recipe... baked potato soup! and sorry, but this won't work for vegans. lacto-ovo's, sure.
4 oz. bacon, rendered and crumbled, reserving drippings OR 3 T butter (or oil, i suppose)
6 c chicken stock, hot
4 large leftover baked potatoes, halved. pulp scooped out and put through a ricer or mashed
1½ c buttermilk
½ c sour cream
½ c freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
2½ t salt (and don't use morton's for fuck's sake!)
1 t freshly ground pepper
2 T sherry vinegar
¼ c minced chives
in a dutch oven, over medium heat use the drippings or melt the butter and add the leeks. cook until the leeks are translucent and add the garlic. add the hot stock and whisk to combine. in a separate bowl, whisk together the potatoes, buttermilk, sour cream, and grated parmigiano-reggiano. add this mixture to the soup stirring constantly. season with salt and pepper. remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar.
ladle into bowls and garnish with chives.