“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with Summer’s best of weather and Autumn’s best of cheer.”
–Helen Hunt Jackson
A couple of weeks ago, as I strolled through the farmers market, it occurred to me that we’ve hit the sweet spot of summer eating. Vendors booths were overflowing with tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, mixed greens, beets, watermelon, along with a variety of squash and zucchini. The approach of fall couldn’t be missed as baskets of Gala apples, Golden Delicious and early pumpkins were spotted too.
Among the people shopping that day, conversations of preserving and freezing was the theme. Worth a little more time in the kitchen, we all know how wonderful these summer flavors will taste in the cold of winter. I’ve been spinning out basil pesto for the freezer and cooking down tomato sauce with whatever beauties my garden and CSA have left to offer.
We’ve been enjoying the bounty of this last month with simple meals that use whatever is ripe for the picking or handy in the fridge. I’ll be honest, it’s these kind of meals that are always my favorite; full of flavor, wholesome and make me feel a little better about feeding my boys something quick as we run out the door to the activity d’jour.
In this season of good eating, I’ve found that I’m following recipes less, and letting the complimentary flavors of what I have available guide my cooking. It’s fun to get creative and be inspired by this simple way of eating.
- Whole grain baguette
- Basil pesto
- Tomatos, thinly sliced
- Provolone, Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
- Preheat broiler in oven, place rack in upper third of oven
- Slice baguette in half, lengthwise
- Place sliced baguette on a prepared baking sheet that is covered with foil or parchment paper
- Spread basil pesto onto baguette
- Sprinkle with cheese of choice, or layer with slices
- Layer tomato slices on top of cheese and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place under preheated broiler until cheese is golden and bubbly
- Remove from oven and serve immediately