Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Mina Ebrahimi says eating fruits and vegetables in season is like seeing a movie that’s actually worthy of all the critical hype. From colors to taste to texture, everything is more intense and infinitely more satisfying. For catering companies, the end of summer means gathering up the season’s most delicious finds before our menus turn to fall flavors. Here are some of our favorites.
Tomatoes: The Candy of Catering Companies
Summer and tomatoes go hand in hand, but the sneaky approach of fall doesn’t automatically mean you have to swap out fresh ‘maters for the tinny canned version. There are still beautiful finds to be had — many of them sweet and succulent — especially romas, heirloom varietals and bite-sized grape or pear tomatoes. Toss them in salads, roast for a quick (hot or cold) soup, or just snack on them with a side of homemade hummus.
Cantaloupes abound in July and August, and you’ll see tons of watermelon too. Look for melons that feel heavy for their size, and pick watermelons with a pale yellow side (they’ve been ripening on the vine, which tends to mean they’re sweeter) and that sound somewhat hollow when you give them a solid tap. Gobble your finds plain or with a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt, or puree and freeze for fruity fall margaritas and lemonade variations.
schedule tasting - catering SGC
From green to red to the harder-to-find yellow and orange options, bell peppers are stacked high this time of year. Prices should be pretty good, so grab a bunch to dice and freeze or make fajitas, stuffed peppers or kabobs. Frozen peppers make quick additions to frittatas, chili, soup and slow cooker recipes, so your fall cooking is easy on the stress (and the prep time!).
Zucchini and Summer Squash
When your garden or your grocery store gives you a bounty of squash, take full advantage. Zucchini bread is always a winner, but fritters, stuffed squash boats (use everything from leftover chili and taco toppings to ragu with a dollop of fresh ricotta), roasted veggie medleys, squash gratin, zucchini fries and zoodles (spiralized zucchini or summer squash) tossed with pesto, tomato sauce or even alfredo are equally tasty.
Thanks to the advancements of modern agriculture, you can pretty much get fresh green beans year-round these days, but the quality changes drastically depending on whether they’re in or out of season. Summer beans are known for being sweet and tender. While more fibrous green beans are great for roasting or boiling, the ones available now can be quickly blanched and shocked for a scrumptious nicoise salad, stir-fried with shrimp or broccoli or simply steamed with fresh dill, butter, and salt and pepper.
All the Berries: Local Picks for Local Catering
Many types of fruit are still going strong at the end of summer, but berries can be especially plentiful. You’ll start seeing large baskets stacked up at the grocery stores and farmers markets as bumper crops and pre-fall harvests overlap. Many local catering companies incorporate them into everything from drinks to desserts. Blueberries and strawberries tend to be especially plentiful; they can be eaten fresh or frozen (lay them out on a cookie sheet and then transfer the fruit to freezer bags so you can grab individual berries as needed).
Indulge in a last blast of summer flavor with your own homemade goodies or a thoughtful menu from your local catering company. At Saint Germain, we specialize in dishes that pack a culinary punch, and seasonal is always part of our strategy.