The heat is not going anywhere soon, but the summer produce season in the Lowcountry is coming to a close. Farms are picking the last of their blackberries, tomatoes, figs, peaches, and peppers, but that doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye just yet. Chefs across the Lowcountry are filling their special boards with bright fruits and veggies in everything from salads to pizzas.
Many chefs are working with multiple local ingredients in one dish, making these last summer weekends paradise for the lovers of the sweet and the spicy. The bounties of the season are the stars of these dishes:
Purlieu knows that you can’t mess too much with Lowcountry tomatoes and has a salad for the true ‘mater lovers out there. Thickly sliced tomatoes are garnished with herb ricotta, honeycomb, and basil. It’s simple because when tomatoes are this good, they don’t need much else.
There is a savory summer salad at Rappahannock Oyster Bar where duck prosciutto, cantaloupe, Ricotta Salata, and snowpeas are tossed in a sorghum vinaigrette. A twist on the classic melon and ham, this dish uses the freshness of snow peas and nuttiness of sorghum to add a new depth to a classic sweet and savory combination.
[embed-2] Chef Vandy Vanderwarker has a new dish at Maison where they toss white shrimp with paprika before searing them on the plancha, giving the shrimp some crispy edges and a smoky flavor. The shrimp is then tossed with pine nuts, lunchbox peppers, and an heirloom pepper vinegar. All of this rests in a piperade made from stewed local tomatoes, local peppers, onions, and garlic.
On King Street, Prohibition is using Lowcountry Creamery ricotta alongside yellow tomatoes, peaches, radicchio, basil, and a mustard vinaigrette. It is served with a slice of grilled bread so you can scoop up all of the summer goodies left in the bottom of the bowl.
Chef Tim Richardson at Hank’s Seafood has made a blackberry gastrique that catches one’s eye while the plate passes in the dining room. The burgundy-colored sauce is nestled below seared halibut, pork belly, and golden potatoes.
Pizza refuses to be left out and EVO Pizzeria is giving the pizza people what they want. Their latest pie is sauced with a corn puree and topped with South Carolina bacon, Kindlewood Farms sweet Italian peppers, cherry tomatoes, Taylor Farms baby kale, gouda, mozzarella, and Parm. Sweet, savory, spicy, and local.
Second State Coffee has been experimenting with local produce on their breakfast menu and they now claim to have the french toast of everybody’s dreams. Tiller Baking Co. sourdough French toast is garnished with peaches, homemade coconut granola, and lemon whipped ricotta.
Yellow wax beans have made their way to Herd Provisions from their farm, Leaping Waters in Virginia. The beans are tossed with local lunchbox peppers from Growfood Carolina to make a fresh and snappy appetizer served with house-made bagna cauda. Chef Alex Eaton says that while the tomato, bean, and pepper season is ending in South Carolina, they will continue to receive summer produce from Leaping Waters Farm.
Parcel 32 is using a trio of figs from Lowland Farms for their fig salad; honey, mission, and Turkish. This trio is paired with bicolor corn and dressed in sunflower butter and olive oil. It is, frankly, a pile of ripe figs, and we don’t think one could ask for much more than that. Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
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