What's in season: August

peach bruschetta (h)

Last night I made a simple salmon and pea pasta for dinner. It’s almost always just him and me for supper, so we usually grab what’s quick and filling, especially after a busy day. As it was such a warm evening, we decided to take our dinner (along with a bottle of wine and a picnic rug) to our favourite spot in a local park. Our little ‘evenic’ in the great outdoors was such a treat; there’s something very pleasing about scoffing delicious bites of food with the wind whipping in your hair! It’s all the better too, if the food you’re eating is the freshest, tastiest produce of the season. August is rather sweet and lovely when it comes to new seasonal varieties. There’s an array of exciting new flavours to add to your shopping list this month, so here’s a little tour of what to look out for.

Plums

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There’s something quite autumnal about the thought of a juicy plum. However, these smooth-skinned fruits are ready to eat now. As it's rather too hot for baking plum crumbles and pies, give them the ultimate summer treatment on the barbecue, as per these simple grilled cinnamon sugar plums. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche for a glorious late summer dessert.

Peaches

Peach and redcurrant cake hero

A member of the Rose family, peaches are one of nature’s most fragrant fruits. Their velvety skin encases a super juicy flesh that is sweet enough to carry almost any pudding, yet is also tart enough to be sliced into wedges to balance a savoury summer salad. Peaches are brilliant barbecued too – see my enthusiasm before with plums. If you’re looking to use up any of these soft, sweet fruits this pretty peach and redcurrant cake is a easy and impressive idea - perfect for picnics.

Aubergines

Smoky aubergine timbales HERO

With glossy black skin and spongy flesh, the aubergine is a must-have ingredient of a vegetable stew or lasagne dish. It tends to prefer a slow and gentle simmer or roast to help release its rich undertones and buttery softness. This smokey aubergine timbales recipe is a fantastic excuse to try these lovely relations of the tomato family. And it will most certainly impress your dinner guests.

Figs

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Plump, with edible skin and a lovely pinky-red seed flesh, figs are the perfect partner to cheese and cold meats. These pretty fresh fruits are brilliant tossed into a salad with a little proscuitto and feta cheese, or roasted in the oven on a tray with a drizzle of honey for a delicious dessert. I also rather like the idea of softening them gently in a pan with orange zest, to be spooned into a fig and honey fool

What will you be cooking and eating in August? We’d love to hear your comments below, or you can tweet us @TescoFood

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