Sunday Supper: Grilled Artichokes and Reference Guide for Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

It always hard to say goodbye to our summer favorites but you are going to fall in love with the flavors of fall. There are so many wonderful recipes coming up I can hardly wait! The secret to a great tasting meal is choosing seasonal, locally grown, organic ingredients at your local market. I headed to my farmer’s market early this morning and have compiled a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables for you to use as a reference all season long.

NORCAL experienced a very late summer and temperatures are just beginning to cool. As a result, I am still finding summer treats as the season slowly cools. There were still some strawberries, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes, eggplant and sweet peppers.


Taste Test

Of course I sampled the fare. How can you choose without tasting it? The grapes are unbelievable right now. Green and purple grapes were on every farmer’s table. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine as the skin splitting between your teeth, bursting open with sweet juice dancing on your tongue as your mouth waters for more. Mmmm…delicious. Go out and get some grapes today!

I also tried a Pluot. A Pluot is a plum and apricot hybrid. It looks similar to a plum but is bigger in size and not as dark. It was sweet, juicy and would make a ridiculously great tart. Look for it at your local market and ask for a taste.

The most noted sight of the day was the brussel sprout stalks in the picture by the Late Fall – Winter list below.  I have never seen brussel sprouts on the stalk and this farmer was selling the stalks for $5 each. It seemed like a great idea until I considered carrying it around… with a princess coach pumpkin. I passed.

End of Summer – Early Fall

  • Peppers
  • Figs
  • Carrots
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Fennel
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Plums
  • Pluots
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Okra
  • Jerusalem artichokes: We made some amazing artichokes and citrus aioli. The recipe is below.
  • Diakon Radish
  • Radicchio

There were heirloom squashes of all shapes and sizes sprinkled throughout the market. Each were fairytale like and reminded me of Cinderella’s coach. The one I took home for my tablescape is just that. If it had a horse and a set of wheels, I would have a glass slipper.

The farmer told me to keep it on my table until the bottom becomes slightly soft and then bake it in the oven. Three of my favorite fall treats are pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup.

You can also make a really delicious pumpkin curry served over rice on a cool autumn afternoon. The aroma of curry and coconut infuse the room while the pumpkin curry fills your belly.

Late Fall -Winter

  • Persimmons
  • Rutabagas
  • Kale
  • Cranberries
  • Lemon
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Quince
  • Bok choy

Now, for today’s recipe…It is seasonal, fresh and seriously delicious. You can make these for an appetizer, side dish or a main entree. Enjoy!

Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Fire up your Weber and get it nice and hot. Meanwhile, start a big pot of water on the stove.

What you will need

Artichokes 1-2 per person

Sea Salt / Freshly cracked black pepper

3-6 fresh garlic cloves

a little less than 1/4 c. of good quality olive oil

1/2 t. Dijon mustard

2 lemons for juice

1 organic egg yolk 

PLEASE NOTE: Yes, you must use organic eggs. There is no compromising here or you run the risk of getting seriously ill. Be smart about consuming raw eggs. You can substitute mayonnaise here if you get wigged out. I would only recommend Hellman’s / Best Foods.

What to do

Now that your water is boiling, add two cloves of minced garlic, 2 cracks of sea salt and black pepper to the water and place your artichokes in the pot. Cover and let boil for 30 minutes or so. Meanwhile, begin making your aioli by mixing together your yolk, 2 t. of your lemon juice and mustard in a bowl. Slowly whisk in your olive oil a little at a time making sure each bit is well incorporated before adding more. Whisk this really well. Finally whisk in your minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

After you have boiled your artichokes, remove from the water and place on a cutting board. This will be tricky cutting these in half AND getting them on the grill without falling apart so get your game face on. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and transfer to the grill to get a nice sear on them. It should take about 5-10 minutes or so. Plate, crack some sea salt and pepper, serve immediately with your aioli.

All of the photos are mine today. If you decide to use them give me props.

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