Food For Thought

"The freedom of man, I contend, is the freedom to eat." - Eleanor Roosevelt

June is a month full of possibilities, the sun has finally warmed up the earth and things are growing with wild abandon. Summer is around the corner. I'm crossing my fingers that the nice weather is here to stay... The honey bees have not been back to visit my balcony garden, but the bumblebees (the one pictured above is a buff-tailed bumblebee) and the tiny solitary bees have been regular visitors now that the sun has come out.

Regardless of the weather, June has loads on offer. Asparagus season may be winding down, but the peas are plump and sweet, and the broad beans (favas) are nearly ready for harvest. New garlic and scapes will be making their way to the market stalls; leafy radish bunches can be found everywhere... Truly, the possibilities are endless!

There are myriads of herbs on offer from June on. It is true that most produce are available year-round, but there is something sublime about herbs and vegetables that were picked no more than a day or two before it was delivered to the market. The basil may be a little tired looking by closing time, but that fatigue is a badge of authenticity.

June is also the month for watercress. In North-America, this green has taken a backseat to the more popular roquette  (arugula), but watercress very much deserves a place on our plates, and not just as a mere garnish. In Europe, watercress is still prized for its fresh, peppery flavour. It will liven up a mild salad, add crunchy texture to the soft leaves, and it is also much less aggressive than trendy arugula. It also adds interest to a classic -or not so classic- egg salad sandwich. It can lend itself to hot dishes -fire tends to tame the leaves' bite- and it is especially nice wilted in a sandwich. Watercress has strong green tones, much like spinach, and would be a welcome addition to smoothies -if that is your thing. Being of the brassica (cabbage) family, it also has high nutrional values, and beats spinach hands down any day!

Although my own strawberries have been slow to ripen, June definitely marks the height of berry season. And there isn't much else to say about that! Except perhaps that the elders are blooming, and their perfume is absolutely intoxicating when drizzled over a bowl of sun-warmed berries.

I can go on about all the wild tidbits -such as fiddleheads in North America, nettles, wild fennel, and such... And lobster! But I won't. June should be renamed the horn of abundance!

Bon app'!


Popular Posts