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French seasonal basket - July 2018

En saison: What to put on your plate this month

Because the French never eat strawberries in winter and even different types of goat’s cheese have seasonality...

Fruit

Apricot, blackcurrant, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, melon, tomato, blackberry, blueberry, nectarine, plum, watermelon, peach, pear, apple.

In focus: nectarine

Nectarines appeared in France in the 1970s. Originally believed to have been grown in China, the fruit comes from a natural mutation of peach – from which it differs by the nature of the skin: the peach is fluffy while the nectarine is smooth. Its name is said to come from its delicate flavour resembling nectar. As with peaches, there are yellow nectarines and white nectarines, so choose fruits that are fragrant, soft to the touch and blemish-free.

The label “Pêche de nos régions” – formerly “Pêche d’ici” – which covers both peaches and nectarines, guarantees the origin of the fruit (South-East France). Nectarines should preferably be kept out of the refrigerator because the cold taints their taste.

 

Vegetables

Artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, chard, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, courgette, spinach, fennel, beans, green beans, lettuce, lentil, corn, mesclun, onion, sorrel, leek, peas, pepper, potato, radish.

 

A seasonal recipe: courgette rolls with fresh goat cheese and basil

Ingredients:

2 courgettes, 200g fresh goat cheese, 1/2 bunch basil, 100 g pitted green olives, 50g dried tomatoes, 6 tablespoons olive oil.

Wash the courgettes and slice them with the skin lengthwise into strips about 4mm thick.

Brush a baking tray with olive oil, add the courgette, salt and cook for 15 minutes in the oven at 180°C.

Mix the olives, dried tomatoes and basil, add the olive oil and fresh goat cheese, pepper.

Spread the courgette strips with this mixture and roll them up.

Serve chilled with basil leaves.

 

Fish, shellfish and crustaceans

Sea bream, haddock, lobster, Norway lobster, pollock, mackerel, whiting, red mullet, John Dory, sardine, albacore tuna, crab, mussels (from mid-July).

 

Focus on: crabs

There are approximately 4,000 varieties of crab. The name crab includes several species of the crustacean family, some of which are edible. Marine crabs have the characteristic of being decapods (five pairs of legs).

Among the most consumed species in France are the brown crab (the largest), the spider crab (with a very fine flesh similar to that of lobster), the velvet crab (smaller but with a particularly tasty flesh) and the green crab used mainly in soups.

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