Fruit trees that grow good in seattle washington

Fruit trees that grow good in seattle washington

Fruit trees that grow good in seattle washington state Photo : Getty

Our grocery stores are filled with American-grown commodities that don’t require refrigeration, yet we don’t think to buy those fruits and vegetables. We simply buy them in winter when they’re cheaper. But no matter the price, seasonal fruits and vegetables offer a beautiful and filling salad that can be enjoyed any time. In the summertime, we might buy the rich-tasting tomatoes, but the frostier variety usually satisfies just as well.

The beauty of seasonal fruits and vegetables comes from the fact that they are inherently far more local than their summer-temperature counterparts. In Seattle, there is no abundant “summer” lettuce, but we have some of the best tomatoes in the world. They are grown in the fertile, sandy soil along the banks of the Skagit River, and they stand up to the weather. The strawberries are also a favorite fruit of mine and my family. We can’t quite grow them here in the Pacific Northwest, but they do grow wild in Washington, which I like to think of as a sort of U.S.-flag-waving version of Sweden.

For the recipe in this article, I used tomatoes that were harvested in the middle of September. They were a gorgeous dark red color and just sweet enough to use a little salsa or pepper flakes. It’s my favorite combination. They are slightly more expensive, but they taste better to me than any local tomato. Plus they give you some bang for your buck. If you can’t get them, go to a farmers’ market and grab some cherry tomatoes. They are a fun shape, and can be used interchangeably.

Meanwhile, the lettuce and cucumbers are my favorite fruits and vegetables, and there is no shortage of them in Seattle. In the summer, I usually buy romaine for salads like the popular Cobb or club sandwiches, but I don’t think of it as “summer” lettuce. I simply buy it at the farmers’ market in early fall.

From a seasonal fruits and vegetable perspective, there are three essential things to keep in mind. One, you want to eat the ripest, most flavorful fruit available. Two, you don’t want any tasteless, soggy ingredients like iceberg lettuce. And three, you want to get the freshest vegetables possible. In Seattle, I can get many local fruits and vegetables all year long. The season for everything from apples to blackberries is at least from mid-August to mid-October.

These seasonal fruits and vegetables offer flavor and appearance without an intense price hike. If you have a budget, I recommend looking to your local farmers’ market for healthy and affordable produce options. Most of all, enjoy your seasonal fruits and vegetables while they’re still fresh and local.

Butternut Squash &, Heirloom Tomatoes (with a Peanut Butter Lettuce Sandwich)

Makes one serving

These are the kind of meals I would eat on the days I don’t have much of a breakfast. We ate this on a Saturday morning when we had nothing else planned.

For the sandwich

1 small head of heirloom tomato, cut into 4 wedges

1 small piece butternut squash, sliced into small cubes

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Butter lettuce

For the sandwich

Butter lettuce

Butternut squash

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Squeeze of fresh lemon

For the sandwich

Butter lettuce

Butternut squash

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Squeeze of fresh lemon

In a pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and place the butternut squash in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pan with a lid. Turn the heat down to low and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Uncover the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the sliced heirloom tomatoes and the butternut squash to the pan. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes start to soften and are turning translucent.

Meanwhile, toast your bread. I like buttered whole-wheat for this dish, but a white sandwich bread would work as well.

Add the butter lettuce to the pan. Top with the grilled vegetables, olive oil, salt and pepper, and squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately.

So, as a small child, I used to love the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin holds up a dollar bill and goes, “See this? This is all I have. But if I can just get a giant bag of chocolate chips or a big loaf of bread, I’ll be happy.” That’s exactly how I feel about butternut squash. And if you give me just a little bit of cheese, I’ll be happy too.

As a dieter, the first time I made this I didn’t count calories, but I took note of the ingredients. I think my husband ate all the bread. It was so, so delicious, I just didn’t want to eat it myself. I haven’t been able to figure out how much a person actually needs to eat to get a “big bag of chocolate chips.” But the bread was great, and I did have half a bag of blueberries. But I haven’t ever figured out how to just eat a banana by itself.

I will say that the green color of the tomatoes makes this a pretty (and healthy!) salad for kids who may not love the tomatoes by themselves. Plus, you could just make your children a nice green salad.

The good news is, they’ll like it no matter what. The bad news is, they’ll be hungry again before dinner’s over. But