As produce starts to fill the markets I find myself drawn to the simple flavors of the vegetables that are in season.
It is the purity and intensity of the single flavors eaten raw that I find so appealing.
The fresh flavors of a green salad or a bowl of arugula leaves with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Or maybe the taste of baby artichokes that can be eaten raw while dipping the bottom into a little vinaigrette.
In France radishes are sliced and placed on a piece of buttered baguette and sprinkled with salt so the flavors can come to life in your mouth. The same is done with fava beans. If they are small, they’re simply placed on that buttered baguette with salt, but the larger ones do need to have their outer skins removed to reveal the tender taste below.
As the season progresses, another French favorite makes its appearance: carrots. When grated and seasoned simply with a dash of lemon juice and good olive oil, the sweetness of the carrots is revealed.
And as the heat of the summer intensifies, tomatoes ripen and fall off the vine ready to be cut open and sprinkled with salt to reveal the vigor of their flavor.
When the sun starts to weaken, there are still raw flavors to enjoy. Beets peeled and thinly sliced exude their earthiness to be enjoyed just as they are.
Food au naturel is an experience worth having. I’ve just suggested a few but there are many more for you to discover.
I’d love to know some of your favorites.