SEASONAL FOOD IN JULY

blackberry

 

It’s almost July and that means new fruit and veg are coming in to season and sadly some are going out of season soon so we only have a short time to enjoy them. Below you will find a list of fruit and veg going out of season as well as those coming into season. Click here if you want to read my SEASONAL FOOD IN JUNE post to see what fruit and veg are still in season at the moment.

 

GOING OUT OF SEASON

  • ASPARAGUS –  These lovely green shoots come in to season from May to July. They come in a variety of colours; purple, white and green. Green Asparagus tends to be British and American, Purple is French and white is Spanish and Dutch. They are also full of nutritional goodness with high levels of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium. When trying to pick the perfect Asparagus look for the straight and firm shoots. When preparing this just wash them. TIP: The best way to store them is to wrap them in damp kitchen roll, place in a plastic bag and store in the salad drawer. SUGGESTION: Asparagus and cheese tart is a great option for a picnic (obviously if the British Summer weather permits).
  • CHERRY- These are only in Season for a very short amount of time; June till July, however they are at their peak Mid-July. Cherries come in hundreds of varieties and the ruby red flesh can be sweet or sour. Pale cherries are more sweet while the darker ones tend to be more acidic, the best cherries to buy are the ones with the stalks still attached and shiny. TIP: Keep unwashed cherries in the fridge for 3-4 days and wash just before serving, they also freeze really well. Sweet cherries are suitable for eating, while the more sour ones are best in pies, crumbles and sauces.  SUGGESTION: A Cherry cheesecake is the perfect balance between nice and creamy and tartness, this would be the perfect dessert for a summer dinner party. 
  • BLACKCURRANT – They are in season from June to August, however at their peak mid June to July. These little black jewels are the most vibrant coloured and flavoured of the currant family, blackcurrants are highly aromatic and have a delicious tart flavour. When buying blackcurrants look for the firm, shiny ones with no broken skins. TIP: If you are cooking blackcurrants to make in to a sauce try to not overcook them as this will make them lose their flavor. SUGGESTION: Blackcurrants are the perfect addition to a summer pudding or summer berry jam.
  • NEW POTATOES – See my SEASONAL FOOD IN JUNE post for info on this delicious versatile potato. 

IN SEASON

  • BLACKBERRY – These wonderful berries come in to season in July till Mid-October time, so there is a huge amount of time for us to enjoy their delicious goodness. Blackberries are very juicy and are best eaten raw, and even better they are full of vitamin C. They are a very delicate fruit therefore avoid washing them if possible, if you have to do it wash them just before using them and drain well. TIP: When storing Blackberries, place them on a layer of kitchen paper on a plate, this is so they don’t crush each other and store them in the fridge, take them out an hour before using them. SUGGESTION: Blackberry coulis or blackberry sauce would be perfect to make as an addition to pour over ice cream, an ideal way to spice up boring old vanilla ice cream. 
  • BASIL – This aromatic herb is mostly used in Mediterranean cuisine and is best eaten in July and August. Freshly cut basil should be kept in a damp kitchen towel, placed in a freezer bag, it will keep for up to 2 days. TIP: If you want to be more economical buy a basil plant and keep it on a sunny windowsill and then you will have near enough a constant supply (however if your like me and can’t look after plants just buy the prepacked basil leaves). SUGGESTION: I love to eat Basil in a salad with sliced mozzarella and tomato, drizzled with balsamic syrup, this is an ideal light summer salad for lunch or it’s used as the main ingredient in green pesto. 
  • BEETROOT – This root vegetable is at it’s prime from July to January. Beetroot has a wonderful rich, earthy and sweet flavour in addition to the vibrant purple colour (which also decides to stain everything it touches including your fingertips). The favourite way to eat beetroot in the UK is pickled. TIP: When deciding which is the best fresh beetroot to buy pick the ones with stalk and make sure they are not wilting, also the roots should be intact. SUGGESTION: Beetroot can be the surprise ingredient in a Chocolate and beetroot cake. Trust me I know it sounds weird but you can’t even taste it, it just adds moisture to the cake, a bit like carrots do in a carrot cake, however please whatever you do DON’T add the pickled stuff cause that won’t taste good. 
  • BROCCOLI – Available the end of July till the end of October, Broccoli is part of the cabbage and cauliflower family. Look for firm bright green and undamaged heads however if the head is already yellow this means it’s past its peak, also the stalks should be firm. TIP: Broccoli can deteriorate rapidly when exposed to air, supermarkets often wrap it in cellophane therefore always choose the unwrapped type if you can and if it still looks good this means that it has been recently picked. SUGGESTION: Broccoli would be a wonderful addition to a beef stir fry with an oyster sauce. 
  • PEACH – At it’s peak near the end of July till September, Peaches when ripe will have a fragrant aroma and will start to go yellow around the stem, when you squeeze them they should feel firm however still have some give. TIP: If you have to cut a peach and don’t plan on finishing it brush the sides with lemon juice to prevent it going brown. SUGGESTION; Peach cupcakes with peach cream cheese frosting is the perfect summer bake to use this delicious seasonal fruit. 

Come back the end of July for My Seasonal Food in August post.

SOURCE: BBC Good Food.

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