What’s In Season In July
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes … Now is the time to eat tomatoes, ideally at room temperature with some really good extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of red wine vinegar, a little sea salt and black pepper, some fresh basil if you have it. Simple and delicious and on the menu in our house practically every day now until the tomatoes are over for another year.
It’s hard to beat fresh tomatoes with homemade pesto and if you make a batch it will keep well in the fridge for a few days and is also delicious stirred into a summer minestrone.
When I have time I love to make a tomato soup with garlic and basil and my (Spanish) husband often makes Gazpacho, the classic chilled and refreshing tomato soup with cucumber, garlic, olive oil and a little bread.
My father always had a glasshouse full of tomatoes, our climate here in Ireland is a bit cold for growing them well outdoors.
Find my tomato soup recipe here
Look out for really small courgettes, they are especially lovely with the flowers if you can get them. Delicious simply cut at an angle and roasted in a single layer until golden brown on both sides and then scatter over the top of some salad leaves. They are also great in a soup or ratatouille, which my husband often makes.
Comber Potatoes which have EU Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) status are one of just three food products to have this designation, from 30 acres around the region including from fields fronting the picturesque Strangford Lough.
Comber New Season potatoes are available from the beginning of June to the end of July and are the first available in Northern Ireland. The potatoes are grown on the shores of Strangford Lough, where the milder climate and fertile soil provide ideal early conditions. Earlies tend to be richly flavoured, and are famous for
their unique taste.
Absolutely delicious freshly boiled with a large dollop of Northern Irish butter and a good pinch of sea salt.
Peas & Broadbeans
Peas and broad beans are at their peak now and other than using them in a soup I simply cook them in boiling salted water until just tender, this only takes a few minutes.
Red Currants and Blackcurrants
Red currants make a jewel-like deep red jelly which is fantastic to have in the cupboard for Christmas time. It’s relatively easy to make and being high in pectin sets easily.
Blackcurrants are great for jam and make very delicious ice cream. It can be hard to find these in a shop but they do grow easily here. the best time to plant and buy them is around November time when they are available bare root.
I will be making a selection of jams, jellies and chutneys in my Autumn Preserving class.
Also at their peak raspberries really lend themselves to so many recipes. Not least raspberry sorbet or ice cream. They are lovely in a whisked sponge cake with fresh cream, trifle, muffins, cheesecake to mention a few.
Find some of my raspberry recipes here