Way back in the cold that was January, I got an email from the folks over at Simply in Season who were intrigued by my not-so-secret love affair with their cookbook. After we exchanged a few emails, in which we established that their cookbook and this blog were essentially soul mates, they offered to donate a copy of Simply in Season to one of our seasonally minded readers. Like a true professional blogger, I immediately emailed them back, saying, “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!” and included no fewer than 13 exclamation points in my reply.
We decided to wait until the return of the farmers market to highlight the book, and here we are, friends…entering the very peak, the zenith, of summer produce, and I could not be more excited for one of you to own this book.
Here’s the skinny on Simply in Season: (cue Reading Rainbow music: “…butterfly in the sky….”). Hands down, it is my favorite and most dog-eared cookbook. It has helped me more than any other book or website in knowing how to cook seasonally. It features a guide in the beginning of various produce, when it’s in season, how to select, store, and prepare it. It breaks down recipes by season, with an array of recipe types…from breakfasty breads to main courses to preserves. The indices in the back are my favorite: let’s say I go to the farmers market and there is an abundance of beautiful zucchinis – I can simply look up zucchini in the back and it lists about 10 recipes that feature zucchini. Plus, the recipes are truly simple, not requiring much more than the featured fruit or vegetable and some pantry staples. I cannot emphasize enough how much I use and love this cookbook.
Guess what else? The makers of Simply in Season just put out a new book…Saving the Seasons. This book is THE basic guide to canning, freezing, and drying pretty much everything. In addition to explaining necessary equipment and terminology, the book features some great step-by-step picture guides on how to preserve your produce, plus fantastic recipes to place in cans or your freezer to enjoy all year; there is even a baby food section which was totally inspiring to me. This book is just plain pretty, with lots of pictures, and I wish I’d had this in hand when I started canning a few years ago…it would have alleviated a lot of my uncertainty. Since it’s a brand new book, I haven’t had much chance to actually use it, but I’m eager to get canning and freezing in the coming weeks. Owen’s excited about the baby food too; I just know it.
In addition to Simply in Season they’re kindly offering a copy of Saving the Seasons too.
Want your very own copy of one of these books? Here’s what to do…
1. Leave a comment below, telling how you carpe´ed the season this summer (your highlight of the summer so far), and you will be entered to win!
2. For an additional entry, either LIKE Carpe´ Season on Facebook OR (if you already like carpeseason) share the link to this post on your Facebook page.
3. Really want to increase your chances? Tell your Twitter friends about the giveaway for another entry.
***If you like us or share the link on Facebook or Twitter, please leave another comment telling me you did so…something to the effect of “I liked you on Facebook!” or “I shared your link on Twitter!” and I will blow you a kiss and give you an additional entry.
The winner will be chosen randomly at high noon (central standard time) this coming Saturday, August 4, so no entries after that time. The winner will be announced that evening at 5:00 p.m. The first person chosen will get their choice of which book they’d like to receive, and the other book will be sent to the second person chosen.
In celebration of these two books, I made one of my favorite Simply in Season recipes…super stuffed tortillas! They are stuffed! They are super!
They are the essence of this book: lots of seasonal produce, little else; simple steps to follow; and delicious. These tortillas are a vegetarian midsummer night’s dream…with corn, bell peppers, and zucchinis blending together in summery goodness, sandwiched inside crispy fried tortillas. Add some melted cheddar, salsa of you choice, and other tortilla-worthy toppings like sour cream and chives and cilantro, and you have yourself a tortilla stuffed with flavor. We love these. We eat too many of these.
I hope you try these tortillas, and I can’t wait to read about how you made the most of this summer! Carpe´ cookbook!
(recipe adapted from Simply In Season
(yields 6-8 servings)
I adapted this recipe by adding more garlic (always!) and using twice the corn but only half the beans. You can try other vegetables in these tortillas as they are in season: spinach, roasted poblano peppers, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, etc.)
olive oil: 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp, divided
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, minced
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small-medium zucchini, thinly sliced and cut in half
1 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 c. or 1 can black beans, rinsed
1 c. vegetable or chicken broth
6 tbsp. salsa
4 c. sweet corn, cut from the cob
small flour or corn tortillas
2 c. cheddar, shredded (more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
topping options: cilantro, chives or green onions, sour cream, salsa,
Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large sauté pan with medium heat. Sauté garlic and onion until onions just begin to soften.
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and cumin and continue to sauté until all vegetables are tender but not mushy or browned.
Add the beans, broth, and salsa. Cook, stirring frequently, until about half the moisture has evaporated.
Once most of the moisture is gone (but not all!), add the corn.
Continue to cook and stir another 4 minutes or so until all of the moisture is gone. Remove from heat.
To crisp the tortillas, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan, over medium-high heat. (I like to use a paper towel to spread the oil around and wipe up excess). Place a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle cheese over it, and fry it until lightly browned and crispy on the bottom. Remove tortilla from the pan and set to the side.
Now take your second tortilla and do the same thing, covering it with cheese and crisping it. As the cheese begins to melt, place spoonfuls of the vegetable filling on it, and flip the first fried tortilla (cheese side down) on top of the filling (making a tortilla sandwich).
Remove tortilla "sandwich" from pan, and garnish with toppings of your choice.