It’s been several months since my last “In My Kitchen” post. Why has it taken so long? I honestly don’t know since there has been a lot of cooking going on. But the type of cooking that happens in the summer months is quite different from that in the fall and winter. We eat a lot of salads, and grilled vegetables. I don’t do a lot of shopping because we have been eating out of the garden (my own, farmer’s markets and friends) whenever possible. Our ‘meat’ is often a sous-vide chicken breast or sausage tossed on the grill to brown at the last minute. Simple food, and light, which is appropriate for the season. During the summer months I would much rather spend my time in the garden than the kitchen. That will change once the weather cools and our rainy season starts.
So, In My Kitchen I have salads.
And in my kitchen I have grilled vegetables from my own and other local gardens.
I learned a trick this year when grilling vegetables. Wait to toss them with oil until they come off the grill. Once warm and cooked they absorb whatever dressing you would like to add quickly. If you coat them with olive oil before grilling, the oil can turn rancid in the high heat and have an “off” flavor.
I cooked the carrots sous vide before tossing them on the grill to char. The artichokes were par boiled first.
In my kitchen I had half a flat of fresh figs from our warmer inland area. I did try to grow a fig tree here on the coast and it was a colossal failure. I don’t think it is hot enough here. I had one in a container on my deck in Oakland, it did really well but I had to fight the critters for the figs. These are Black Mission Figs, I made fig jam and we have been enjoying them fresh in salads (as well as in hand).
In My Kitchen I have homemade taco seasoning, this recipe came from Mollie and her blog, Frugal Hausfrau.
I used it to coat a chicken chicken breast before cooking it sous-vide. We then quickly browned it on the grill. It was delicious.
Once you cook a chicken breast sous vide, you will never go back to another method. This one cooked away to perfection in the water bath while we attended a neighborhood meeting. It only took a few minutes to toss it on the grill once we returned home.
In my kitchen I have fresh herb sauces to use on vegetables or grilled meat.
This Salsa Verde contained cilantro, mint, fresh thyme, scallions, jalapeno, and garlic with olive oil, cumin, lime juice, and harissa. It was delicious on simply grilled vegetables.
Trader Joe’s has had some interesting new products. These artichoke hearts were preserved in a simple brine, wonderful tossed into a mixed vegetable salad.
They also have grilled ones in olive oil and sun dried cherry tomatoes in olive oil. The grilled ones were a little stringy. There is not a Trader Joe’s up here on the coast but I stock up when I am at the Oakland apartment.
At our holiday craft’s fair I picked up this European butter keeper. It was made by a friend’s brother who is a potter. I’ve never used one before but it is supposed to keep butter fresh at room temperature. You fill the top part with butter, then turn it upside down on the bottom which is filled with water.
I really like the tree on the top. Do any of you readers preserve butter this way?
This post is part of a monthly gathering of bloggers. Click on the link to Sherry’s Pickings for a look at what is happening around the world.
That’s all for now, I will see you all again in October. Thank you for visiting.
All your tomatoes look beautiful. My kitchen in August has been just like yours — salads, grilling, final outdoor activities before the days are too short or too chilly.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
I look forward to the first tomatoes all year and we gorge ourselves with them while they are available. I agree, the simpler the better right now. It has been unusually sunny here and absolutely lovely. Usually August is very foggy but not this year.
Wonderful ideas. I do not cook often and struggle for creative ideas when entertaining. Your site and suggestions are very much appreciated.
Thank you Scott. This time of year you can’t go wrong with the wonderful produce that is available. And, the simpler the better to highlight it.
Thanks for the shoutout on the taco seasoning!! I am so glad i stopped by, I’ve been looking for my next new Tomato Salad recipe and I see lots of inspiration here! I’m in desperate need to use up some of my tomatoes in a big way! I pretty much neglected my two plants and i’m actually kind of glad I did, lol!
I am glad to give inspiration. I made the caprese salad again last night, the one with figs. It was a big success. I like the combination of tomatoes with a ripe fruit…peaches or watermelon or figs are all great.
Of the above, I’ve only tried watermelon, but I love the idea of peaches! Figs are hard to get here but I heard whole foods has them…I have only had one fresh fig in my life!!
Wait until you can eat a tree ripened one, they are really delicious but go bad very quickly.
Tomatoes are certainly the them of this month’s IMKs! I adore figs. We can’t grow figs in Qld either. It’s warm but too humid. Whenever we travel, I am always thrilled to see them. I’ve never seen a butter keeper like that. How curious!
We absolutely gorge on them when they are in season. The gardeners from inland areas bring them to the farmer’s market but you need a greenhouse to successfully grow them on the coast. I have a friend that shares her bounty so I feel lucky.
thanks for joining in this month. great to have you again. Looks like you’ve been having a splendid summer food-wise. lots of fresh produce in your kitchen. Spring has sprung here and i think we’re going to have a long, hot summer again. have a good month. cheers sherry
We are all experiencing more heat, we haven’t had as much fog this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain comes early and we escape the devastating fires of the past few years.
Beautiful tomatoes and I am loving that fig jam,
Thank you Tina.
Yum. I’m looking forward to tomato season, I have a couple of volunteers in the garden and some new season plants in the glasshouse-potting shed trying to get a head start. Every photo looks delicious but that Salsa Verde is the best. And I appreciate your trip to toss grilled vegetables in oil afterwards… our bbq season is almost upon us.
Hello, and our season is nearing the end. How lucky that your volunteers will give you an early start fruit. I am thinking of turning one of my raised beds into a hoop house for tomatoes and cucumbers next year. The weather is way too cool, especially in the evenings, for them the thrive without some extra heat added.
A very interesting tip for the grilled vegetables. Can’t wait to try it! I love all of your salads. It’s so much fun to be able to eat out of the garden. My zucchini are slow this year, though, but fortunately tomatoes have done well. Great post!
And my zucchini have almost finished, I wish I had planted a second crop as we do love them. I usually pick them fairly small so we don’t end up with the woody ones. Wishing you happy grilling.
I use my butter keeper all the time! You just need to top up the water every day. And I agree with you, sous vide chicken breasts are the best 🙂 Those Black Mission Figs are my favourite variety.
Lovely refreshing post👌
Those are some beautiful tomatoes and I do love growing them in my garden as well.
Ciao Liz, I love summer food…grilling and salads and stuff from the garden. I had an incredible crop of tomatoes and zucchine this year, but half of them got eaten by others since I was away until 3 weeks ago. I will plant a bit later next year! Ciao, Cristina
Summer food is the best. I am thinking of planting a second crop next year as my zucchini is almost finished, way too early.
Great idea. Then you will also have more flowers!!!! 😋
It would be a blessing!
Look at all of that beautiful summer produce! Yummy! =)
Thank you, I am enjoying the end of summer.