One of the greatest joys of living in Canada is being able to eat your way through the seasons. Of course, in this day and age you can get pretty much anything you want any time of the year, but if you’re looking for the absolute best quality produce at reasonable prices, eating seasonally is where it’s at.
Here are some of my favourite ingredients that are in season in August and some ideas as to what to do with them:
B.C. Blueberries started to show up in July and are in season well into August and the beginning of September. I love that you can pick up a big box for the same price that a tiny clamshell goes for throughout the rest of the year. Use blueberries in pies, jams, salads, and sauces or just serve them as a dessert with some thick cream poured over top. I also love the idea of a blueberry grunt — an East Coast classic that is far less fussy to make than a traditional pie. Try this recipe to get your grunt on.
I find that plums are often an unsung fruit, but they work so well with baking, sliced up in salads or in sauces. This recipe for snack bars uses plums with other summer fruit and has long been my go-to recipe for a road-trip snack (it doesn’t hurt that it lets you use up a variety of fruit that you may need to use up before driving away for a week’s vacation).
Peaches are my summer favourite — they’re absolutely perfect in pies, jams and cooked down as an ice cream topper. That said, peaches also go so well with meats and savoury food. A peach barbecue sauce goes perfectly with ribs and pork dishes, but my favourite way to serve them is to throw them on the grill and serve them as a side dish with chicken, pork or fish. You can also do grilled peaches as a dessert: this recipe serves them with vanilla bean and mascarpone cheese.
To be honest, my favourite way to eat fresh peas is to pop them in my mouth right out of the shell. Peas are so sweet this time of year, you really don’t even need to cook them. I like throwing raw peas into pasta or grain-based salads and pasta sauces. This recipe uses freshly shelled peas in a hearty and satisfying risotto.
Canada produces some of the sweetest corn imaginable and it’s at its peak in August. There are a lot of fancy things you can do after sawing corn off the cob (try it in soup, salad, etc) but there’s something special about eating corn right off the cob. This recipe shows you how to do it right on the barbecue, with some cilantro butter and lime.