We Love What’s in Season Now – Summer Onions, Apples, Potatoes

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July 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

We apologize for not getting up sooner, a more current what’s in season now. What’s in season now, is surely summer, and the markets are starting to get colorful with tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Still, we love to focus this time of year on a some of the items mostly restricted to market shoppers like you. In our last installment of what’s in season, we talked about garlic scapes, those long green stems that could serve as an herb or as a vegetable. Now, we want to focus on three seemingly mundane items: onions, potatoes and apples.

It’s summer. Yes! Summer brings its own variety of apple, of potato and onion. And while you may find that you locavore diet next winter consists mostly of apples, onions, and potatoes, you will not be eating the apples, onions and potatoes of summer. Summer apples, like lodi’s and transparants, are known for their intensity, tartness and ability to go soft fast. Summer apples are often known as sauce apples, because their flavor translates and you cannot otherwise keep them. Summer onions are often known as salad onions or sweet onions. You will know you have a summer onion because its skin is soft and pliable. We call them salad onions because that’s what they are best for, and actually do poorly in many cooked dishes–they can literally dissolve when over-cooked. Summer onions are often immature versions of the same onions you will eat later, and summer potatoes are newly grown versions of the same potatoes you will eat later too. In other words, “new potato” is not a variety but a stage in the cycle of agriculture. Any potato can be “new”. You will recognize a true new or “freshly dug” potato by a skin that appears to be peeling off, because that’s what happens when farmer’s wash-up their freshly dug potatoes.

Storage notes: for sure store summer onions and potatoes in the fridge, not the least your root cellar is too hot this time of year. Whether you refrigerate your summer apples or not, they will still grow soft soon.

Here’s what else is in season now:

  • Orchard fruit - You’ve probably heard by now that crops of peaches, nectarines, plums and related fruits have been decimated by our weird weather.  Eat what you can find.
  • Tomatoes – What everyone really wants at the market, right.  The first tomatoes tend to be small, but slicers and heirlooms are showing up too.
  • Berries – Crops of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have been been better than larger fruit.  Go for these first.
  • Beans - There’s been green beans for a while and soon there will be other kinds of fresh beans
  • Summer’s loves - Besides tomatoes, more of what we expect in markets, summer squashes, cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers.
  • A new kind of salad – Very little lettuce and spinach, but basil is the new green.  In addition, you can make salads from cabbage, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, and other summer stuff.

Share with us any special market finds.

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One Comment

  1. Cindy Rangel says:

    Love, love the onions. Absolutely amazing taste!!! Pass me the salad!

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