We had a conversation with a friend a while back about the effects of cooking according to season. It might be one of the most helpful and immediate actions we can do for our environment. Choosing locally grown doesn’t only help the farmers but also on a bigger perspective. Imagine if we didn’t have to fly food all around the world just to satisfy our needs for this and that. I’m telling you, that is a whole lot of transportation we could save in on (and the transportation of animals, phew we’ll leave that page blank).
Don’t misunderstand us now, we really don’t want to preach. The way we see it everyone has their own way and their own conscience. You should all do what feels right for you. And even if you want to choose locally grown it is not possible for everyone, since a local apple strangely enough often can cost more than an apple that has been transported here from the other side of earth.
We will however, when it is possible for us, try even harder to share recipes according to the season. And if we inspire you to do the same, we sure won’t complain about it. It will be a bit difficult since we are a global food blog, and what is seasonal for us might not be in season in your part of the world. But at least Europe and large parts of the U.S. shares more or less the same seasons.
We will kick things off with something incredibly local and seasonal. Handpicked mushrooms, rhubarbs and zucchinis. And honey that we have extracted ourselves (a WOW might be appropriate here).
Since we live in central Stockholm we don’t find a lot of food growing in our neighborhoods. So we have made sure to have a CSA box subscription and friends with resources. We have, for example, two friends with bee hives. When we visited them last weekend – on a mushroom-picking-mission – we also got the opportunity to help them out with the honey extraction. Fun to learn. Exhausting after a while. And oh so delicious to taste.
When we got back home we brought two jars of honey, a bag of delicious funnel chanterelles and some fresh rhubarbs with us. We also had a giant zucchini which we had received in our CSA box earlier that week. Since Luise is a lot more creative with new recipes than me, she closed the kitchen doors and told me and Elsa to be back in an hour. When we entered she had made a rhubarb compote, roasted the zucchini and topped it with the funnel chanterelles. We dripped some honey over them and had it for dinner. In Sweden we often make chanterelle sandwiches and serve as a starter, these are a bit similar but the zucchini replaces the bread. Much better. If you can’t find zucchinis, all kind of pumpkins will work great.
Baked Zucchini & Roasted Funnel Chanterelle
1 big zucchini, squash, butternut squash or pumpkin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp raw honey
4 cloves garlic (1 for the zucchini and the rest for the chanterelles)
500 g Funnel Chanterelle or winter mushrooms
Roasting the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the squash into 1/2 inch (1-2 cm) slices. Place them on an oven skillet, drizzle with olive oil, honey, thyme and some minced garlic. Roast for about 40 minutes.
Preparing fresh funnel chanterelle: First trim off the bottoms of the stems, then gently brush them off. Don’t rinse them under water, for they will absorb water and turn mushy when you cook them.
Making the mushrooms: Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Mash the garlic cloves with the end of a chef’s knife, remove the peel and add garlic to the pan. When golden, add the chanterelles. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
Serving: Arrange a dollop of chanterelles on top of each zucchini. Drizzle some honey on top and serve together with the rhubarb compote.
Apple & Rhubarb Compote
We like our compote a little tart, if you prefer it sweeter you can add a few tbsp of honey or agave.
1 lb (1/2 kg) red organic apples
250 g rhubarb, cut into slices
1 cup (2 dl) water
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp cinnamon grounded
Preparing the fruit: Wash the apples and cut into quarters and cut out the seeds, then chop into squares (leave the peel on). Trim off leaf ends and roots on the rhubarbs using a sharp knife. Wash the stalks and slice them into 1 inch (2,5 cm) pieces.
Making the compote: Place apples, rhubarbs, water and the rest of the ingredients in a pot. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. The compote is done when the water is gone and the fruit is tender.
Store: Clean the jars in boiling water. Pour compote in the jars while it is still warm and seal the jars right away.