what's in season: july

clematis - london july 2014
I get so excited in July. If June is a dreamy, soft focus kind of month in muted pink. Then July is bright and full of sunshine colours with food to match. But this year, I have even more things to be excited about. If you weren't aware of the fact, then this is just to let you know that for the past few months I have been given a weekly column on The Guardian's website as part of their Live Better sustainable living challenge on the subject of leftovers, a subject very close to my heart!

The second piece of good news is that fabulous Borough Market, the mecca of all things good in fresh food, (with stalls from producers from all over the UK, from meat and fish to vegetables, cheese, booze and spices), have asked me to run some lunchtime cooking demonstrations. My first is on Friday 25th July from 12 noon until 2pm and I shall be attempting to cook up a Malaysian feast. I'm a little nervous but after some cool reflection realised that I'll have an audience, food, a small stage and a microphone. It should be a hoot and it would be lovely to see you if you're in the London Bridge area!

When the French wrote a proverb "A summer's sun is worth the having", I can only assume that they were having a sly dig at their neighbours across the English Channel! But ever the optimist, particularly where food is concerned, I am hoping that the sun will truly come out this month, for a British summer, no matter how fleeting, is really a thing of beauty, something to savour.

I hope that this year I shall be having more tapas and mezze adventures in food with my friend Heathcliffe; that we can celebrate the sunshine, summer dining and my favourite food. When the weather is warm, I just want to sit in the garden with friends, with a couple of bottles of chilled wine and plates of antipasto, tapas or mezze. I love this kind of food; sunshine dishes that burst with tantalising flavours!

July is a bumper month for soft fruit and salad vegetables, from apricots, gooseberries and cherries, to courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes.

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (globe), aubergines, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli (calabrese), cabbages (various varieties), carrots, cauliflower, celery, chanterelles, chard, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, horseradish, kohlrabi, lambs lettuce, lettuce, mangetout, new potatoes, onions, oyster mushrooms, pak choi, peas, potatoes, purslane, radishes, rocket, sage, samphire, sorrel, spinach, sugarsnap peas, tomatoes, watercress, wild fennel

fruit and nuts:
apricots (imported), blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, elderflowers, gooseberries, loganberries, nectarines, peaches, raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries, tayberries, white currants, wild strawberries

meat and game:rabbit, wood pigeon

fish and shellfish:black bream, crab (brown, hen and spider), clams, freshwater crayfish, cuttlefish, lobster, mackerel, pilchards, pollack, river trout (brown and rainbow), scallops, sea bass, sea trout

6 comments:

Jude said...

a great list, I love eating seasonally too. Congratulations on your Guardian column and good luck at borough market.

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Your recognition is long overdue and well earned and deserved.Thank you for giving us your blog,the new column and Borough Market.I wish I could be there.Friday the 25th July is the day The Times move their offices to the mini Shard so will be telling my journo friends to pop out at lunchtime and pick up some worthy Malaysian culinary tips.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Rupert, what a lovely thing to say, thank you! I am loving all of this though. Finally I seem to have some kind of, dare I say it, a bit of creativity and my love of history and cooking.Every day I can't believe how lucky I am that people actually want to read and see what I'm doing.

At Borough Market, there will be an opportunity to taste my cooking too. i'm finalising what I'm planning on cooking this weekend but it is definitely going to be based on a fantastic spice paste to blow your mind and your tastebuds :)

As for your journo friends, could you ask them not to heckle from the back? Actually, being serious for a minute, I am really hoping that people will ask me questions - I can't promise to answer all of them but I shall do my best!

mrsportlyskitchen said...

Hi Rachel, congratulations all round. I've been enjoying your Guardian column (and featuring in it, thanks!) and it's great news about Borough Market. Have a great time and here's to more successes to come. Linda x

Nazima said...

Congrats on the column - you write it well, and have some great suggestions each week! As for Borough market - have fun. I am sure your Malaysian feast will be super - what a cultural melting pot. Enjoy July and all its sunny days and gorgeous produce!

Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry said...

Annoyingly I am not in london on that day but good luck with the demo. I will share on twitter.