, named after the Roman Emperor Augustus, looks enough like July for the gastronomy. The long, hot days of the month invite to
barbecues and meals under the shade of the parasols or under the arbor.
What could be better than a fresh appetizer of tomatoes and cucumbers? Never before have sun-drenched field tomatoes tasted so good. Or a Niçoise salad can be spiced up with capers and anchovies. If capers are missing, why not replace them with nasturtium flower buds, the flavor will be very similar.
peppers , eggplants and zucchini caught even more sun. They have been “Augusted”, i.e. ripened by the heat. The sweet and white sweet-flavoured onions have finally arrived. Here is enough to prepare one of those cold or warm ratatouilles, flavoured with lemon or basil which are one of the great classics of the summer. This is the time to consult the Provençal recipe books to vary infinitely the preparation of these vegetables of the South and to discover the pleasure of the small stuffings à la niçoise.
green beans and snap beans are in full season. The salads of the month are firm and tasty; Romaines, lettuces, escaroles and curly endive are harvested.
green salad (c) Africa Studio shutterstock
In the ocean the tide makes the happiness of the vacationers of the seaside. There is only the embarrassment of the choice in August in front of the fishmonger’s stall : maybe a cure of small fries or
, or fresh
sardines ? The shellfish are there in abundance, full of freshness and vitality. The mussels are also delicious during the summer months, fleshy and orange in their dark shells. Avoid a priori oysters. During the breeding season, they tend to be milky, which takes away their delicacy (and triploids, no thanks). They will be much better in a month.
For fruit lovers, August is an enchantment: apricots , peaches , plums , pears melting in the summer and of course all small fruits: strawberries , raspberries , blackberries , blueberries , are as many permanent temptations, good to crunch. All of them are transformed into exquisite pies, mousses, sorbets, coulis …
On the cheese side, it’s very hot. Only the fromage blanc and the light Fontainebleau keep the spotlight on the hottest days. But in the evening, when the air fills up with freshness, why not let yourself be tempted by a small goat, a Saint Nectaire, as soft as can be, or a creamy Reblochon , before taking a few steps outside the arbor to contemplate the August sky, the purest and most starry of the year.
Here is a summary of the
seasonal products . To do so, I have used a lot of the not so recent but excellent Almanac du Gastronome.
As usual by clicking on the words in pink, you will arrive on the list of recipes using this ingredient.
Au potager :
- : it is the great season of snap beans. If they get too big, consider puréing them.
- Tomatoes : Never have they tasted so good. Don’t rely on their looks. Tomatoes ripened in the field in the sun do not have the roundness and regularity of greenhouse tomatoes. But what a difference in taste! It’s time to make some coulis to keep for the winter.
- : The pink is very fine. Bought now, it will keep for several months.
- : All the colors are there, just like in July. The reds are more numerous: it is the greens that have now matured. As for the yellows, with such a soft and sweet flavor, they are hybrids. : Why not in fritters or stuffed to change the everlasting ratatouille. Or with white sauce and pomegranate seeds in the Ottolenghi way. Choose it small (it has less seeds and less bitterness) and shiny as you like.
- The zucchini : Here is another excellent vegetable, interesting to stuff (see my recipe of stuffed zucchini)
- The potato : Here is the great moment of the more mealy varieties which will make the best purees, varieties of guard which will last until winter.
The products that arrive :
: At the end of the month, begins the time of the beans to be shelled. Cocos, ingots and other beans can be enjoyed fresh and not in their dried form. The taste is not the same of course! It is more subtle. Try it as a small cream stew, flavoured with herbs from the garden.
- : This is what we call the long, thin green beans that used to go so well with the spring leg of lamb. The weather is too good, they grow very big.
The fillet beans
- : Except for a few last Bergeron, his real season is over. It is better to gorge oneself with peaches and nectarines, gorged with sunshine. : The great moment is over. They are becoming rarer. While waiting for the arrival of the so-called “remontant” varieties next month.
Anchovies: They remain abundant and cheap.
- Sardine : As in July, it is fat and fleshy, perfect for outdoor grilling.
- Sea bass : Although it is a winter fish, its catch in August peaks compared to that of the other summer months. It is the momentary increase in demand that justifies this intensive fishing. In case of miraculous fishing, its price may even drop dramatically.
: White or albacore tuna, which is the best of all, is in greater numbers in August than in July. Its annual catch lasts only 4 months, and it is not easy to find an account of the massive sales at the cannery.
: The crab
: The lively and heavy choice. Warm, with mayonnaise, it is one of the best summer dishes for those who are close to the coast. In Brittany, they make orgies out of it.
: Numerous and fleshy, they make the mouclades of the summer.
: Mussels (c) Naotake Murayama license CCBY20 jpg
: They arrive :
- : It is not yet very abundant, but it arrives to complete the paellas and other dishes of the sun.
: The little ones have grown. They are now approaching adulthood. It is no longer the time of the tender Navarins. Instead, prefer big legs or chops to be grilled on the barbecue? We can start thinking about the seven o’clock leg of lamb, a dish that has been simmered so long that the meat is served with a small spoon. It was the delight of George Sand and Colette.
- At the creamer’s :
- : As for the Livarot, it is one of its best months.
- Perfect plain or to macerate in olive oil with chilli pepper and herbs to vary the taste.
- : Those sold matured to perfection were made with the milks of May and June. A delight!
- : This summer and autumn cheese is enjoying its second best month of full season. Its quality is guaranteed by an AOC.
Les chèvres :
: Creamy at heart, it is perfect.
They arrive :
: This creamy cheese with a short maturing period is entering the first of its four months of excellence. It belongs to the prestigious club of cheeses under AOC.
: In the woods :
: You can find some of it in certain regions but the gastronome will have to be a picker if he wants to enjoy it. It is rare that he will have enough for summer marketing.
- They are leaving :
Woodland strawberries (c) Metsämansikoita licence CC BY 2.0
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