As summer days fade to fall, harvest time is upon us. In the garden, people are busily plucking tomatoes from vines, pulling beets from the ground and cutting corn free from its stalks. It is a wonderful time of bounty, but that is not restricted to just the garden plot. If you look to the trees, there are plenty of wonderful things to harvest among their branches as well. Apples, peaches, pears and plums are all coming ripe in Ontario this time of year. Don’t forget the sour cherries and nectarines. Plus, walnuts, hazelnuts, heartnuts and chestnuts will be ready before you know it! In fact, maybe we’ll feature some of these yummy nuts later in the fall, but right now I have my sights set on the fruit trees that are laden down with produce. And thinking about all the wonderful treats available from trees makes me hungry! Does anyone have any good recipes? Check out some of these;
A RECIPE OR TREE?
For starters, here’s the all-American apple tree presented with a new twist from Allrecipes;
APPLE And FETA PAN FRIED PIZZAS
In a medium bowl, combine contents of the pizza dough package and 1/2 cup hot water. Stir vigorously, about 25 strokes. Set the bowl in a warm place (about 85 degrees F, or 35 degrees C) for 5 minutes. Turn dough onto floured board, divide the dough into 8 small sections. Knead the dough and shape it into rounds.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the dough and fry until the dough is lightly browned, flipping once to brown on both sides. Once cooked, place the circles on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the feta, red onion, and thyme on top of the circles.
Bake the pizzas until the feta begins to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
While the pizzas bake, in the previously used skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter and a few sprigs of thyme. Mix the apples into the skillet, and cook until the apples are soft and golden. Lay the apples on top of the pizzas, season with pepper, and serve.
Everyone loves a sweet juicy peach, but kick it up a notch (compliments of recipe from Simply Recipes) in;
- 4 ripe but firm yellow peaches, chopped (skin on or off, your choice, skin on makes for better color, but if skin is too thick or fuzzy you may want to peel first)
- 2-3 Tbsp chopped shallots or onions
- 2-3 jalapenos, chopped (stem, seeds and ribs discarded)
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Put the chopped peaches, shallots, and jalapeños in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse 2-3 times, just enough to get most the pieces small and to well combine the salsa. Do not liquefy it.
Place salsa into a bowl and cover. Let stand for an hour before serving to give the ingredients time to meld.
Serve with chips, with fish, pork, or chicken.
Yield: Makes about 2 cups.
Bring pears to a whole new level at dinner time with this pear recipe from Canadian Living;
AIR-DRIED BISON With ROASTED BEET And PEAR SALAD
*Air-dried bison is a specialty product you can replace with air-dried beef, a Swiss item known as bundenfleisch. In a pinch, prosciutto provides a nice cured flavour.
- 4 beets
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced shallots
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
- 3 cups (750 mL) torn mixed salad greens
- 2 ripe pears
- 8 slices air-dried bison
Scrub beets; trim stems but leave roots intact. Wrap in foil or place in covered casserole; bake in 425°F (220°C) oven until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool; peel and cut into matchstick-size strips (julienne). Set aside in bowl. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
In small glass measure, whisk together olive and walnut oils, shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.) Add about 3 tbsp (50 mL) to the beets; stir gently to coat.
Arrange greens on plates. Halve and core pears; cut each half into 8 wedges. Lay bison on cutting board. Spoon one-eighth of the beet mixture onto 1 side of bison; roll up like cone. Arrange on greens. To each plate, add 4 pear wedges; drizzle with remaining dressing.
- Preserving the Harvest (seedsandstones.wordpress.com)
- Heat sweet for fruit growers in region (stltoday.com)
- Harvest time and replanting (thegreenmavenhearth.wordpress.com)