It’s time. That magical time when the days are long and hot, there’s a baseball game every night, the pool’s open for business, and vegetables are everywhere you look. It’s summer! Cook it up with these recipes from some of Richmond’s best food bloggers.
So, you ventured out to the farmers market AND the Vegetarian Festival this weekend, and now here you are–hungry, inspired, and sitting on a mountain of vegetables. Let RVA’s food bloggers show you how to handle the squash, tomatoes, okra, corn, berries, and peaches you’ll be eating for the next three months, and get ready to DIG IN.
Kristel Poole, STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
Where there’s squash ,there are squash blossoms; that’s how the whole thing works, after all. These delicate, golden-yellow flowers signal the approach of the squash and are their own culinary experience. It’s best to treat them simply–an herbed goat cheese filling and a light batter make Kristel Poole’s a shining example in their category.
17 APART, BAKED ZUCCHINI CHIPS
There comes a time every summer when the sight of zucchini makes me shudder. At that point, I’ve done everything I can for the vegetable, and I’ve hit the point in the relationship when I’m officially over it. But there’s a sweet honeymoon before that, when I eat it for every meal–fritters, pickles, in a frittata, stuffed with quinoa, zucchini muffins, everything zucchini! That’s where I am right now. Late June means very good zucchini vibes. And I’m feeling particularly into this recipe for baked zucchini chips from Tim and Mary on 17 Apart, which uses Old Bay Seasoning to turn zucchini into a veritable crab chip. There are no excuses for not trying this one: it’s an absurdly easy, healthy way to prepare a ubiquitous summer vegetable.
EATING BIRD FOOD, RAW CORN AND AVOCADO SALAD
Corn! Sure you can boil corn and grill it, slather it with butter or crema, but why bother when you can also just liberate it from its cob and turn it into this sweet, slightly creamy raw salad that makes an excellent contribution to summer’s many backyard barbecues. Recipe developer Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food says, “The corn salad is a summer favorite for many reasons. It versatile, pairs nicely with any type of protein and is a total crowd pleaser at parties and cookouts. Plus, you only need five ingredients (minus salt and pepper) and there’s no cooking involved!”
Okra is one of those things that divides people. I used to swear a vow of hatred for okra so vocally that my coworkers would taunt me with blown up images of Delta State University’s Fighting Okra on my desk. (The nonprofit world is weird, what can I say?)
But that all changed when I tried Pickled Silly’s spicy pickled okra three years ago. I went from a zero-tolerance okra stance to welcoming the seedy southern staple onto my plate with enthusiasm. I began combing my favorite blogs for okra recipes and came across this from Tim Vidra (the other half of 17 Apart!), which has been a favorite ever since. I’m also fully advocating dipping those baked zucchini chips in this curry aioli while it lasts.
COOK LIKE A CHAMPION, GRILLED PORK SKEWERS WITH GRILLED TOMATO RELISH
Man cannot live by vegetables alone! Oh wait, no, he totally can. Apparently, it’s called being a vegetarian, and it’s great! But if you happen to also live by pork, consider these grilled pork skewers. This recipe is smart because it uses the grill not once but twice. I often find that once I’ve fired up the ol’ coals, I want to grill everything in my kitchen. This recipe lets me grill tomatoes, make them into a relish, and also grill pork skewers. THANKS, RECIPE!
F FOR FOOD, JENNY-KING’S WILD BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE
This is already shaping up to be a banner berry season, especially when it comes to the darker berries. The blackberries this year are plump and pack a tart, jammy almost-savory bite–a berry with something to prove, perhaps. Well, strawberries and raspberries need not apply for this crumble; it’s a blackberry exclusive. I love almost any dessert that comes in a cast iron skillet, and this rustic crumble from F for Food does precisely that.
BROAD APPETITE, SEARED PEACHES WITH VANILLA BROWN BUTTER SAUCE
Summer days seem to go on forever, and so should the meals. That means two desserts. Just when you’ve polished off your last bite of crumble, unbutton that top button and prepare yourself for these beauties. Peaches get very fancy treatment, first seared (which, theoretically could also be grilled if your grill is still hot!) and then gussied with brown butter, honey, and vanilla ice cream in Broad Appetite’s perfect summer dessert encore.