Today on Serious Eats: Jicama and Watermelon Salad. So refreshing, you may never drink ice water again.
I want to hate August. I really do.
The mosquitoes. The sunburns. The blistering heat. The choking humidity, like you’re constantly walking in a wet sponge. The distinct summertime odor of Brooklyn, which can best be described somewhere between Underarm Sweat and Putrefied Corpse. The pervasive bad moods of citizens, confined to their steamy, claustrophobic apartments, where ancient window fans provide the only respite from triple-digit temperatures.
But then. Then there’s the produce. And August is forgiven.
Even in New York City, vegetables are wildly inexpensive and fruit is gobsmackingly plentiful. You can survive on nothing but zucchini and berries for weeks, and still be upset when it’s over.
To get an idea, here are the results of last week’s supermarket trip. This just doesn’t happen in November:
1 lb strawberries
6 ounces raspberries
1 clamshell organic baby greens
3 red peppers
2 yellow squash
1 green pepper
10 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 lb mozzarella
5 vine tomatoes
1 lb carrots
1 dozen humanely-raised eggs
1 box Kraft mac and cheese
1 box Domino dark brown sugar
1 jar Ragu Garden Style tomato sauce
1 liquid Coffeemate
1 bag Stacy’s pita chips
1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas
1 14.5-ounce can black beans
1 tub Friendship cottage cheese w/pineapple
3 chicken thighs
6 slices prosciutto
2 artisanal baguettes
KEY FOOD: $33.78
ASSOCIATED SUPERMARKET: $25.16
Okay, the Coffeemate and mac-n-cheese might happen in November. But you gotta forgive a girl her indulgences, right?
As there was so much fantastic produce available, I overbought. It left little space in the fridge, and some doubts as to whether or not we could finish everything before it went bad. Consequently, we needed a dish that would A) use up mad fruits, yo, and B) y’know … taste good.
Enter Smitten Kitchen’s cobbler recipe.
Though the original instructions call for peach and blueberries, a commenter mentioned mangoes and blueberries would work just as well. I was worried the abundance of brown sugar and very-sweet fruits would make it a little cloying, so a cup of raspberries was added for tartness and balance.
And oh, man. IT WAS SO GOOD. It was all the wonderful things about summer, topped by awesome cornmeal biscuits. If you should make it yourself, know the following:
1) Choose ripe mangoes that give slightly to the touch. You don’t want under- or overripe fruit, or everything will be a mess to slice.
2) SK calls for buttermilk in the original recipe. I didn’t have it, and used a skim milk/lemon juice substitution I found online. It worked beautifully, and is included below.
3) The dish is a little liquidy. Go with it anyway.
So, August. We still have three more weeks of each other. Keep giving me food like this, though, and we just might make it to September.
If you enjoy this, you’ll surely flip your lid for:
Mango, Blueberry, and Raspberry Cobbler
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
3 cups mango, cut into 1-inch slices
2 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal (yellow or white)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
7-1/2 tablespoons skim milk
1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Get out an 8x8 (2-quart) baking dish.
2) In a medium bowl, gently mix the ingredients for the fruit mixture: mango, blueberries, raspberries, dark brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into 8x8 dish.
3) In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, dark brown sugar, and baking powder. Add butter. With a fork or pastry blender, smush butter into flour mixture until it looks like small crumbs.
4) Pour 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice in a measuring cup. Add milk until you get to the 1/2 cup line. Stir. Add to flour mixture and combine until everything is just wet.
5) Using a teaspoon, drop glops of flour mixture on top of fruit. (You should get ten or eleven glops.)
6) Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cobbler part is baked and fruit is all bubbly.
7) Remove from oven and let it cool a few minutes, lest you cauterize your taste buds.
Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
256 calories, 4.8 g fat, 3.8 g fiber, 3.1 g protein, $0.98
3 cups mango, sliced: 322 calories, 1.5 g fat, 8.9 g fiber, 2.5 g protein, $3.00
2 cups blueberries: 165 calories, 0.9 g fat, 7 g fiber, 2.1 g protein, $1.67
1 cup raspberries: 64 calories, 0.9 g fat, 8 g fiber, 1.5 g protein, $1.67
41 teaspoons dark brown sugar: 615 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.50
14 tablespoons flour: 398 calories, 1.1 g fat, 3 g fiber, 11.3 g protein, $0.09
2-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice: 10 calories, 0 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, 0.1 g protein, $0.40
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0.3 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.01
1/2 teaspoon salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
1/4 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal (yellow or white): 126 calories, 0.6 g fat, 2.6 g fiber, 2.9 g protein, $0.11
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder: 4 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.06
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces: 305 calories, 34.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0.4 g protein, $0.17
7-1/2 T skim milk: 42 calories, 0.3 g fat, 0 g fiber, 4.1 g protein, $0.12
TOTALS: 2053 calories, 38.6 g fat, 30 g fiber, 24.9 g protein, $7.81
PER SERVING (TOTALS/8): 256 calories, 4.8 g fat, 3.8 g fiber, 3.1 g protein, $0.98