Summer Produce Round-Up
Summer is in full swing and with it comes a bevy of local produce. Here are four items from some of our favorite vendors to look for this summer:
Peaches, from Crown Orchard in Albemarle County
The Chiles family has been growing peaches along the sloped terrain of Carter Mountain in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley since 1912 and offer a variety of peaches, including the much-coveted donut peach. When at their peak these peaches shine brightly when tossed in a summer salad, grilled and served alongside a scoop of fresh ricotta, or bathed in bourbon and tucked into pastry for a bake and bubble in the oven.
Cherries, also from Crown Orchard in Albemarle County
Cherry season in Virginia is short and sweet (thanks humidity!), so get while the gettin’s good. The darker the cherry’s color, the riper the fruit. Although cherry season is brief, if handled properly, they freeze fantastically. Simply spread cherries with stems still intact into a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze. Transfer to freezer bags for storage and enjoy year round!
Garlic Scapes, from Forrest Green Farm in Mineral
Scapes, the curled flower stem that sprouts from the top of hardneck garlic, has grown in popularity over the years, and with good reason. Milder in flavor than garlic itself, scapes from Forest Green Farm in Mineral can add a punch of peppery garlic to a variety of dishes. We prefer them blended into pesto or grilled until charred and wilted.
Baby Beets, from Phantom Hill Farm in Louisa
Delicate in size and full of flavor, baby beets bring vibrancy and earthiness to the table. Grown naturally and without the use of chemical pesticides at Phantom Hill Farm, baby beets are the ideal size and shape for pickling, and once roasted make an elegant and colorful addition to crudité platters or a salad.