I, probably not unlike many of you, am a seasonal produce shopper. Between the food market and my organic/local produce box I get my weekly supply of crisp, fresh vegetables and deliciously sweet fruit. Nonetheless, I still go to grocery stores to lavishly indulge in exotic fruits like mangoes or kiwis, fruit I grew up on but are not grown in Germany.
Last year Soeren and I embarked on a yearlong home project, which was originally initiated by his school project “Green Earth”. Our home project was a very basic one, however for Soeren, who was keen to understand how eating seasonally and locally helped keep our earth greener, this home project turned out to be something he took very seriously.
We created a few charts, one where the months of the year were listed and blank columns were to be filled. In this chart Soeren drew the vegetables or fruit that arrived in our produce box or from the market. As the seasons turned we then followed up by researching on the internet, what really was in season and if we were way off mark with what we had consumed. Another one of our charts was a map of Germany and Tom had circled a 10, 20, 40 and 100 km radius around Weimar. Each week Soeren would interview the delivery person, who brought our box, asking him where each item came from and each week we would hang up that specific chart on the fridge. It became our weekly challenge to keep within the 10-20 km radius.
The project became the source of many discussions at school, with friends and neighbors, who in some form or other created similar projects. For us, it made us aware that we are doing a pretty good job of eating „greener“ and thus helping in a small but hopefully effective way to “save the earth”. Yes – we do step out of line every now and then (that would be me when I reach for my Indian mangoes) and no – we do not mind and take it in a composed manner.
Obviously, there is certain produce that we would never think about in the summer. Cabbage is one of them. Even though there are different varieties available all year round, we tend to totally neglect these during the warmer months in favor of all the other vegetables we are deprived of in winter. Asparagus, aubergine, courgette, fresh peas, fennel are just some of the things we absolutely look forward to getting in our produce box. So why then want cabbage?
Don’t get me wrong, we love cabbage here. Used quite widely in the Indian and German cuisine, we usually enjoy a variety of cabbage dishes during winter. But when the ingredients for Paper Chef were announced, at first I was slightly disappointed:
- and an ingredient that is typically available in July where we live
However, soon I had several ideas zipping in my head. Light, summery and full of exotic flavor was what I planned on going with. My poultry butcher, however did not stock quail so I substituted with meat from a small free-range rotisserie chicken.
Ginger complimented lime perfectly and soon I was heading towards delicate and aromatic Asian flavors. My July ingredient of choice was peach. Sliced finely and tossed into the refreshing salad, it is put together within minutes, providing a fantastic alternative to any coleslaw.
Although I was slightly challenged with the ingredients, the final creation was incredibly sublime. This Asian inspired chicken, cabbage and peach salad offers layers of flavors and a multitude of sensational aromas. The characteristic flavors of ginger with its spicy and lemony notes, paired with lime juice and the soy sauce provides a wonderful basis for the dressing, which permeates through the entire salad.
We’re counting down to our summer vacation towards the end of next week. Two weeks of fun in the sun. More on that next week, in the meantime enjoy the rest of the week and have a blast on the weekend.
More Asian Flavors from WFLH:
|Thai Red Curry Noodles||Beef Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry||Coconut Cashew Chicken Satay Skewers|
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