Welcome back to the Farmhouse Kitchen! This weather has been so gorgeous that if it weren’t for the fresh flavors of seasonal produce in the kitchen, I’d be tempted to stay outside all day every day. It just so happens that the sunniest time of year is also the most delicious time when it comes to fruits and vegetables in the South.
This month, I’m bringing you classic flavors in new ways. While you may not have had all these dishes before, I can all but guarantee they will earn a cherished place in your recipe files.
Like most Southerners, I was raised with the belief that it was my solemn duty to grow tomatoes in the summertime. This spring, we were finishing our house, so I’m doubly grateful for my local farmers market, where I can get the good stuff until my own garden is in place once more. Tomato Cobbler with Pimento Cheese Biscuits is a stellar way to use them. It’s my heart song; it’s just that good. With its drop biscuit topping, I could make a meal out of this recipe. It’s also a great side to any family meal.
Next up is Crispy Roasted Okra. I know, I know. We are used to having it fried, but give this a try and you’ll become a believer. Roasting vegetables brings out their flavor, and that slight caramelization with a bit of crispiness hits all the right notes. Some don’t care for okra because they feel it can be slimy. This natural thickening agent makes okra a great addition to gumbo and stews. Roasting the okra almost eliminates this characteristic. For the best flavor and texture, choose young okra pods that are no longer than a finger length. I like to serve mine with a creamy lemon dressing, but your favorite bottled ranch is also a great complement.
Finally, we have a family reunion favorite: Peach Delight. Donna Anders of Tuscaloosa County shared this classic recipe with Neighbors back in May 2009, but it’s so delicious, I knew we needed to share it again! It’s the perfect chilled and layered cream cheese dessert to enjoy under the shade trees while you catch up on adventures and remember days of old.
I hope your summer is off to a great start and you can enjoy the sunny side of life as often as possible. Don’t forget to stop and smell the tomatoes! Y’all enjoy.