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September in our kitchen

September in San Francisco is a lazy collection of long summer days and beautiful California evenings. We have survived Fogust and are ready to finally relax in the sun.

ITALIAN food is pretty much all I want to eat this time of year. The vegetables and fruit are so bountiful in Northern California right now that our kitchen is full of basil bouquets and I can smell the fresh cherry tomatoes the minute I walk in the door. Each meal is designed around what is fresh, what is physically present in our home (I cannot stand last minute trips to the grocery store) and desert each evening is fruit.

As the month wears on my Mediterranean culinary cravings expand and MIDDLE EASTERN food is incorporated. This can go poorly very quickly though. Our dear friends gave us two Ottolenghi cookbook and I am in near constant danger when I open them of being far to ambitious with the weekly meal planning. 

 

Seasonal Vegetables

Tomatoes
Bell Peppers
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Okra
Zucchini
Acorn Squash

seasonal herbs

Basil
Cilantro
Mint
Parsley

Seasonal Fruit

Apples
Pears, Asian Pears
Grapes
Melons
Peaches
Nectarine
Pomegranates
Blackberries, Blueberries, Raseberries
 

 

simple dinners

Pasta

  • with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and maybe fresh mozzarella or some roughly grated Parmesan 
  • with crushed garlic, olive oil, tossed with baby spinach in the colander and topped with ricotta
  • with zucchini, chili pepper, finely chopped parsley and rather a lot of Parmesan

Polenta

  • with spicy shrimp, fresh red sauce, and a side of sauteed spinach

Fried Calamari

  • squid tossed in a bit of flour, gently fried in olive oil, then sprinkled with parsley or mint and maybe of few red pepper chili flakes, served with salad

Chicken Cacciatore

  • made with whichever vegetables I have around

Tabouli

  • the fantastic thing about tabouli is that you can pretty much get away with throwing whatever is fresh and in arms reach at it. I tend to make it with couscous instead of bulgar but either work. Tomatoes, parsley, mint, cilantro, cucumbers, onions, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt

Lentil Salad

  • French lentils tossed with olive oil, the last of the cherry tomatoes, basil, feta, salt and pepper

Molly Markman