It’s mid-summer and there’s an array of fresh, local fruits and vegetables, along with a surprisingly local fish: sockeye salmon from Osoyoos Lake, the result of a record run of the iconic coastal B.C. seafood up the Columbia River this year and into the Okanagan.
So, I had to do a little experimenting with it. Salmon and the barbecue are a natural combination, so the only question left is what else is fresh and in season locally that we should combine with it.
Asian flavours are quite wonderful with the full-flavoured B.C. salmon, especially sockeye, whether that’s maple and soy sauce, ginger and garlic or black beans and green onions.
I chose the latter and added fresh nectarines, but I will try peaches next time. It was an exciting combination of sweet and tart, spicy and salty and perfect against the rich background of the silky salmon.
I love fresh fruit in salads too, so whatever’s in season usually ends up amongst the greens: try it; you’ll like it.
Farmer’s markets throughout the Central Okanagan feature an amazing array of local produce now, so take advantage of this sumptious season and fill your basket, bag, fridge, table and tummy with all you can while it’s at its best.
Then can, freeze, preserve or dry what you can’t eat.
There’s lots happening around the valley at this time of year too, so get out and enjoy some fine eats.
See you next Sunday at Matt and Molly Thurston’s Claremont Ranch Organics in Lake Country for the fourth annual Okanagan Feast of Fields celebrating all that’s fresh and local.
Also upcoming is an opportunity to enjoy fine food from five fantastic Okanagan chefs in an idyllic setting and help raise funds for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Live music and impressive auction items are sure to entertain you as you wine and dine.
This Feast in the Vineyard is at CedarCreek Estate Winery with some of my favourite chefs: Corked Cook Geoffrey Couper; Jesse Croy of Summerhill; Matt Batey of Mission Hill; Bernard Casavant of Manteo and, of course, CedarCreek’s Chris Thomas Aug. 9. Tickets from CedarCreek, at 764-8866, ext. 102.
You could also pick up a copy of my book, Jude’s Kitchen, now at local bookstores and wine shops, and enjoy some of the 200 recipes for fresh, local foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. It’s organized by the seasons so you can be inspired by what’s freshest locally.
Peachy Salmon with Ginger
Nectarines and peaches definitely have a place alongside the entree as well as for dessert. They added a luscious touch to this Asian-inspired sockeye salmon, which paired excellently with the 2011 Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Grigio, with its fresh fruit and complex spicy notes. But, I’m thinking a viognier might also be good with it.
10 oz. ( 300 g) salmon fillet
1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
1 tbsp. (15 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp. (15 ml) dried preserved black beans
1 tsp. (5 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
1 peach or nectarine
remaining slivers of green onion
Lay salmon in a shallow oven-proof glass dish, then prepare the marinade.
Mince the ginger, garlic and all of the green onions except a couple of inches, which should be slivered to garnish the finished dish.
Combine with the soy sauce, black beans, lemon juice and honey and spread over both sides of the salmon, ending up with the skin side down. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Slice the peach or nectarine and arrange it down the top of the fillet.
Roast uncovered for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, 15 minutes or so, or until the centre is just opaque.
Scatter the slivers of green onion over the top and serve.
Blueberry Nectarine Salad with Sea Asparagus
When local fruit is ripe, I like to try it in everything. We found the tart sweetness of these fruits were wonderful with the bits of crunchy, salty sea asparagus. It’s available from Buy the Sea in West Kelowna. With the addition of a crumbled feta or blue cheese, this would serve as a lunch salad.
4 c. (1 l) fresh, local salad greens
1/2 c. (125 ml) chopped cucumber
1 fresh, local nectarine or peach
1 c. (250 ml) fresh, local blueberries
handful of fresh sea asparagus
handful of toasted pine nuts
Wash and dry a mix of fresh, local salad greens and tear them into a salad bowl.
Chop cucumber and nectarine or peach on top.
Add blueberries, sea asparagus and pine nuts.
Dress with a light vinaigrette such as a raspberry balsamic or simple oil and vinegar or lemon.