As we move through the shoulder season of fresh produce, where the summer squash spills into the pumpkin bin, it's a perfect time to savor the fleeting tastes of summer.
Juicy ripe fruits like strawberries won't be around much longer, and tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and peppers are at their peak right now. Here are some ideas for a last dance with the foods of summer:
Kendall-Jackson's 17th annual Heirloom Tomato Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens, where you can get a tour of the new gardens designed by culinary gardener Tucker Taylor. The star of the show will be the tomatoes - 175 heirloom varieties, plus tomato dishes made by 50 chefs. A chef's competition, wine tasting, seminars and live music round out this sweet event. Admission is $95. 700 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa. www.kj.com.
Tierra Vegetables will host a veggie-centric demonstration by chef Jennifer Una from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the farm stand at 651 Airport Boulevard in Santa Rosa. Una will be making dishes from the last of the strawberries, summer squash, shelling beans, peppers, tomatoes, basil and eggplant. Cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. To reserve: www.passionpalate.com.
If you haven't been to a farmers' market in awhile, it's a good time to go and stock up on tomatoes and apples to put up for the winter.
Many of the markets are open year-round, but a few of the smaller markets are winding down, including the Glen Ellen Farmers' Market on Sundays (through October); the Healdsburg Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings (through November) and Wednesday evenings (through October); the Occidental Bohemian Farmers' Market on Friday evenings (through October) the Petaluma Farmers' Market on Saturdays (through Nov. 23) and Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers' Market on Tuesday evenings (through October).