The dog days of summer are rapidly coming to an end. School is back in session and vacations are a thing of the past. But, no one told the wonderful end of summer fruit and vegetables! To me, this is the best time of year…red and white corn, heirloom tomatoes, dragon fruit, avocados, and of course, FIGS!!!
These delectable morsels are great on pizzas, served with cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, thrown on the grill, or on their own, in their purest form. Throughout the year, I always have dried figs on hand (they taste just like our childhood favorite fig bars) as a great snack but when they’re in season, look out!
Give this later summer salad a try, a great crowd pleaser and delicious to boot.
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 8 fresh figs, halved
- 1 pound spinach, stemmed and washed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
Combine 1/4 cup of the oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey and black pepper to make a dressing; set aside. Preheat grill. Rub figs all over with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then grill, skin side up, over a medium hot fire for 2 to 3 minutes.
Toss spinach, bell peppers, and onions with dressing in a large bowl. Transfer salad mixture to 4 plates, then sprinkle with feta and pecans. Place 4 pieces of grilled fig on each plate and serve.
Rock and Roll was here last night! Pioneer raw, vegan chef Brian Lucas, aka Chef Be*Live, rocked and rolled his way into 3rd & Fairfax’s hearts. Besides the food (which was AMAZING) Chef Be*Live gave an animated presentation (even with a kidney stone-Ouch!) holding the attention of all who participated. We were so lucky he stopped by, shared his amazing talents in the kitchen, and shared his new book, Going, Going, Gone Raw! Can’t wait to have him back soon.
We all love gazpacho, but try this new twist thanks to Chef Be*live! You may never go back to the traditional one.
By Chef Be*Live
• 1 cup cubed pineapple, about 1/4 pineapple
• 1 cup cubed jicama, about 1/4 jicama
• 1 cup cubed mango, about 3/4 large mango
• 1 cup peeled and quartered cucumber, about 1
• ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
• ¾ cup diced yellow onion
• 1 cup diced tomatoes, about 2 tomatoes
• ½ cup or about 6 dates, packed
• 2 Tbs lime juice
• ¾ cup orange juice
• 1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped, about 2 tomatoes
• 3 Tbs agave
• ¼ cup cilantro
• 1 tsp jalapeño
• ¼ cup pineapple
• 3 Tbs yellow onion
• ½ tsp apple cider vinegar/coconut vinegar
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 ½ cups water
First, prepare the jicama, cucumber, tomato, and
mango. Place in a bowl and mix. Then add the minced
onion and cilantro. Toss. Add the chopped dates and
pineapple and toss again. Set aside.
To prepare the broth, blend the lime and orange juice,
pineapple, vinegar, salt, and agave first. Blend till
smooth, starting at a low setting and gradually increasing
the speed until smooth. Then add the cilantro, tomatoes,
jalapeño, and onion. Pulse three times or until the soup
contains fine but visible particles of cilantro and tomato.
Finally, pour the broth over the fruit mixture and stir
slightly. Chill or serve immediately.
I absolutely love, love, love seafood stew. The summer brings an array of fabulous ingredients from the sea regardless of where you are in the world. If there is a coastline, there is some variety of fish stew! If you’re in France you might try bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish stew; if you’re in Rome, you might try cioppino, an Italian-inspired seafood stew; if you’re in New England, go for the ever popular clam chowder; and if you’re in southern California, instead of heavy cream as the thickener, you might find it’s been substituted for coconut milk (a personal favorite, see recipe below)
If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara area I encourage you to try the seafood stew at Jane’s, a small restaurant on State Street with HUGE flavor. But if Santa Barbara isn’t on your itinerary, swing by our seafood department and try this recipe, an ode to Jane’s.
California Seafood Stew
· 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of firm white fish. For example try halibut, swordfish, or cod cut into large portions
· 1 to 2 lbs of shellfish (shrimp, clams or mussels would be delicious)
· 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
· 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
· 2 cups of sweet yellow onion
· ½ lb organic red potatoes, diced into bite sized pieces
· 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
· 1 cup of Maui Brew coconut porter
· 1 cup seasonal fresh peas, try snow, English, or snap for a nice variety (if there are no fresh options, use organic frozen peas)
· 1 cup of fresh white corn (frozen is ok if the corn isn’t in season)
· 2 cups of a selection of fresh, diced mushrooms (shitake, baby portabella, oyster, etc would work great)
· 2 handle full’s of baby spinach
· 1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
· Extra virgin olive oil
· 1 tablespoon of paprika
· Pinch of crushed red pepper
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Fresh cilantro for garnish
Over medium heat, in a large covered pan (such as a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the potatoes and sauté until lightly browned. Add paprika, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper to taste and stir ingredients until coated. Add the beer and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once the liquid has reduced, add the mushrooms and peas. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mushrooms are softened. Then comes the fish! Add the white fish first and cook until ¾ done, then add the shell fish. You may want to add a little water, fish, or vegetable stock if it’s too dry. Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and add the coconut milk and corn. Simmer on the stovetop for 15 minutes then add the spinach and cilantro. You may need to add more seasonings, so this would be the time to do so. Add a fresh squirt of lemon juice just before serving.
Pure Energy Chef, Steve Factor was back last night and I have to share his Peach and Heirloom Tomato chilled soup, simple ingredients but serious depth. Wow! Great thing about this type of soup, the longer it marries the better it tastes, so try making it a day ahead and see how amazing it is!
PEACH HEIRLOOM TOMATO SOUP (serves 4)
· 4 Yellow Peaches
· 4 Heirloom Tomatoes
· 1 Red Bell Pepper
· 1 Avocado
· 1 Green Onion
· 1 small bunch of Cilantro
· 1 tsp Cumin Powder
· 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until it hits desired consistency. If you prefer a chunkier version, leave half of the peaches, tomatoes, and avocados and add to the puree at the end.
I found this recipe on wholefoodsmarket.com and knew I had to share it with everyone! Summer is all about the BBQ’s and in honor of said tradition, we are always looking for new ways to enhance our menus. Chicken has come a long way! Now we can get air-chilled, organic, free range, and/or GMO-free chicken that not only tastes better, it’s better for us. Swing by the meat department and ask anyone of our team members about our Mary’s chicken and they’ll fill you in on all the benefits. As for me, I’m all about the taste and grilling your chicken adds a serious amount of flavor. Whether you’re marinating before hand or just adding salt and pepper, you’ll be enhancing the palate of your guests with such a simple technique.
- 1 whole (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken
- 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dark beer, such as stout
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder or other chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Place chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. With poultry scissors or a very sharp boning knife, remove the backbone of the chicken by cutting down either side. Turn chicken breast-side up and press firmly on the breastbone until you hear it crack and the chicken is nearly flat. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in beer. Seal the bag, place it on a plate and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove chicken from the bag; discard beer. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, allspice, salt and garlic, and stir to make a paste. Loosen skin over breast and thighs of chicken and work a few teaspoons of paste under skin and over flesh of chicken. Rub remaining paste over both sides of the chicken.
Prepare a charcoal grill for medium-heat cooking or preheat a gas grill to medium. Once hot, make a cooler place on the grill by either pushing the hot coals to one side or turning one of the grill’s heating units off or to low.
Place chicken on the hot side of the grill; cook, turning frequently and flipping chicken occasionally, until skin is well-browned and a bit crispy on both sides, about 10 minutes. Move chicken to the cool side of the grill, cover the grill, and continue to cook until juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a paring knife and an instant-read thermometer registers 165Â°F, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before carving into serving pieces.
The purity of seasonal produce is true beauty. I love the summer for the abundance this time of year offers. The variety, the colors, and the flavors allow for creativity to come alive in all our kitchens. One doesn’t need a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to appreciate the finest that summer has to give us.
There is nothing more delicious than an heirloom tomato, nor more versatile. Soups, salads, main courses, desserts….the options are endless and are delicious. With that being said, here is my favorite recipe! Now, what’s yours?
Email us at email@example.com and share your favorite heirloom tomato recipe. We’ll select our favorite, and add it to our blog. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page (wholefoods3rdandfairfax) on July 31st and receive a $25 gift card.
Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Pizza
- 1 pound frozen whole wheat or white pizza dough, thawed
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
- 1 pound mixed heirloom or other seasonal tomatoes, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Divide pizza dough into 4 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball out to a rough circle about 9 inches in diameter; brush each side of the circles with olive oil and place on baking sheets.
Prepare a grill for medium heat cooking. Working with one piece of dough at a time, place it on the grill rack and cook, rotating the crust frequently with tongs to help it cook evenly, until darkly browned on the bottom and air bubbles form on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer browned-side up to the baking sheet; spread the browned side with 2 tablespoons pesto. Top with a few slices tomato (don’t cover the entire surface or the pizza will end up soggy), sprinkle the top with â…› teaspoon each salt and pepper, and dot with goat cheese. Slide or lift the pizza back onto the grill, close the grill cover and cook, rotating the pizza every now and then, until the bottom is deeply browned and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 minutes. Slide or lift the pizza back onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Growing up in New Jersey, I spent most of my summer dangling from my grandparents 5 cherry trees. Nothing was more satisfying as a child than picking those cherries and sharing them with my family and friends. Twenty years later, my excitement for cherries still lingers with every spit of each pit. There’s something absolutely delightful about these little jewels of yumminess! Whether you’re craving spice, savory, or sweet, cherries can add a lot of flavor to any dish.
At the moment, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so to celebrate said craving, here is a great dairy-free version of the very popular cherry and chocolate ice cream.
· 1 pint So Delicious vanilla bean, no sugar added, coconut ice cream
· Chocolove Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate bar
· ½ lb fresh cherries
· Fresh mint to garnish
Leave the ice cream out for 20 minutes to allow it to soften. In the meantime, de-pit the cherries. Using a potato peeler, shave the chocolate bar and put to the side. Mince the mint. Once the ice cream has softened, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and place in a freezer safe container. If you want to have some fun with presentation, purchase ahead of time some popsicle containers and sticks, then add the mixture into each tray. Either way you’d like to serve the ice cream, return it to the freezer for at least 45 minutes until the mixture has hardened. When you’re about to serve the ice cream add a little bit of fresh mint to garnish.
This is a great project for the kids too! Pick up your favorite organic cookies and turn those scoops or popsicles into ice cream sandwiches.
If you don’t believe me that this tastes wonderful, we invite you to stop by on July 27th from 2pm-5pm to celebrate our Ice Cream Social. We’ll be sampling this and many more sweet treats throughout the store.