I am a fruit fiend at this time of the year. One of my favourite weekly rituals is to go the farmer’s market and choose the best-looking produce that I can find. Obviously, this includes a variety of fruit, straight from the Okanagan Valley. I tend to go for berries, which are beautiful, juicy jewels that make my oatmeal and yogurt so much better and stone fruit, which I love eating on their own, as a snack. Despite the fact that stone fruit are far less reliable than berries- is there anything worse than a mealy peach? – they are my absolute favourite. I typically don’t cook or bake with my summer fruit because they are so delicious raw but when I was faced with making a light dessert for a BBQ last week, I couldn’t think of anything more delicious than a stone fruit, hibiscus fruit salad.
As the summer races to an end, I am trying to take advantage of all of the corn, cherries, and peaches that I can. Simple is always best, I love eating my cherries and peaches raw and the best corn in my books is charred, slathered in butter, salt and pepper. But, if I want to make a meal out of the corn, this is the best way to do it. I love how I can buy a couple of ear of corn and feta and end up with a deeply delicious and satisfying dish. I came across a very similar version of these charred corn and pepper tacos years ago on Smitten Kitchen. Since then, I have made it countless times for the two of us, friends, and family brunch. They are a super easy, dependable meal that tastes delicious and comes together in no time at all.
Before we moved to Calgary, I had a list of things that I was hoping for in whatever apartment we chose to rent. A balcony or outdoor space was at the very top of the list. I have never had access to outdoor space in any of the places I’ve lived in before so I was dreaming of a herb garden, a chair to read on, and maybe even a BBQ. Of course, when we actually moved to Calgary and realized how difficult it was to find any place at all, my list of requirements became much, much shorter. The quest for outdoor space went down the drain. In the end, I love our apartment and I’ve even managed to keep a few pots of fresh herbs alive (which I love! Fellow apartment dwellers, don’t despair. You can keep a bunch of herbs alive as long as you have a nice sunny window.) but an indoor BBQ is obviously not a possibility. Luckily, we have very nice, friends that have an entire deck, filled with a multi-stage (home-built!) garden and a big BBQ. So, when they asked me if I wanted to try grilled pizza, I jumped at the chance.
My market stall neighbours sell healthy snacks. I always think it is funny standing there as they describe their flourless, sugarless treats and I look down at my bagels, filled with (glorious) gluten, white flour and sugar. I am, however, always surprised when we share a customer, but I guess in the end, you can’t argue with tastiness whether it’s a healthy snack or more of a treat. A whole section of their snacks is various flavours of roasted chickpeas. Until they came around, I totally forgot about these little guys, which are in many ways the perfect savoury snack. I used to love making them and sprinkling them over homemade hummus. They are simple, easy to make, customizable, pretty filling, healthy and crunchy. So, last week, I made a batch of slightly spicy, salty chickpeas and threw them in a salad, which turned a simple bowl of tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber into a light, summer meal.