It is a frenzy out there!
Go to any roadside produce stand, neighborhood market, or even the grocery store and you will find local produce and a lot of it! This is the best time to buy fresh, local fruits and vegetables. The end of summer bounty is showing up and quickly being hauled away in cart fulls and at really good prices. Yesterday I visited the Bellevue farmer's market and picked up two generous bunches of red beets (for pickling) for only $2 a bunch. Today, at the West Seattle farmer's market, I bought my usual $20 (mind you I try to only budget $40 a week for food- which is hard to do since I love food shopping- but so far have been able to stick to it and may soon cut it down to $35 and still manage to eat well for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). With the twenty dollars I brought, I was able to buy one bunch of sweet aromatic basil, two banana peppers (sweet but also mildly spicy), one sweet red bell pepper, four ripe plums, one melon, ten heirloom tomatoes, two squash, and a loaf of rustic Italian bread (made at the Tall Grass Bakery in Ballard)! Not bad! These items came from Grant, King, Snohomish, and Thurston counties.
Now that I've assembled all the ingrediants, what should I make? I'm planning on using the tomatoes, basil, and bread to make panzanella, an Italian bread salad. I plan to grill the rest of the vegetables for a quiche (to use with left over pastry dough I have on hand in the freezer). There will be no waiting on the plums and melon, those are for snacking now and throughout the week. I hope you are all enjoying your summer! I would love to hear how you are using your summer seasonal produce!