It's hot, it's humid, and we're in the best season of eating in Minnesota! I seriously LOVE August in Minnesota. It's summer's last hurrah. It's fairtime. It's corn season. The tomatoes are ripe. Ahhhhh!
I think besides eating myself silly with sweet corn, my next favorite summer food is gazpacho. It's a cold tomatoey vegetable soup chock full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, and cilantro. Here is how I make it (I know using V-8 is cheating, but oh so yummy!):
I cut up a bunch of cucumbers:
Then I cup up a bunch of tomatoes. The varieties I show here are (from top big one, then clockwise) Brandywine, a couple Rutgers, Oregon Spring, Amish Paste, and Green Zebra (center). I like to use a mix of paste and juicy slicing tomatoes in the gazpacho. This batch I only used the Brandywine, Rutgers, and Amish Paste. We had the Green Zebra cut up for supper.
Next on the chopping board: onions!
And then a nice big green pepper!
After mixing together all these wonderful fresh vegetables that came straight from the garden, I add a few cloves of garlic-chopped, ground black pepper, and salt. (Oh, the more garlic, the better!!!) Pour a bit of regular V-8 over all of it and refrigerate for a couple hours to allow the flavors to blend. I've skipped the V-8, especially when I have lots of juicier tomatoes, and then you just have to make sure not to skimp on the salt. Other good additions are lime juice and cilantro.
Certain members of my family enjoy this for breakfast... be warned that if you do this, you will have definite garlic breath! Oh, but so worth it!
So, as I was saying... I just love August. And here is why: this week my CSA customers can expect a couple dozen ears of Bodacious sweet corn, tomatoes--both cherry and slicers, cucumbers, onions, purple scallions, peppers--sweet and jalapeno, green beans, and possibly zucchini (I got my zucchini in late so it's just starting). Next week should include more sweet corn (possibly 2 varieties), more tomatoes, more cucumbers, more onions, zucchini, and hopefully broccoli. And it just keeps getting better... squash will be on the list soon, along with turnips, salad greens, watermelon (!), kale, cantaloupe... Oh yeah... I LOVE AUGUST!