You Should Celebrate Lughnasa!
As summer nears its end and children ready themselves for the return of school, August is a beautiful time for the food industry. Catering to the sustainably conscious consumer has always been simpler for us, as we have always supported local suppliers and producers. When we say local, we mean local, with family-run or village butchers and fishmongers and growers throughout the country. As such, bringing customers in our workplace catering, healthcare catering and education catering restaurants the most delicious, nutrient dense and sustainable food on a daily basis.
In order to promote local seasonal produce here are some ways to celebrate the festival of harvest, Lughnasa….
How Do I Celebrate Lughnasa?
So how does Lughnasa fit into this? Lughnasa refers to the ancient pagan festival of harvest from August 1st. Strictly speaking the word Lughnasa comes from the pagan god of craftsmanship and wisdom, called Lugh. Traditionally, the festival was celebrated with a feast of newly dug potatoes in August, which were mashed with scallions, otherwise known as champ, or mashed with cabbage, otherwise known as colcannon. Ideally speaking both these revered Irish accompaniments are best mashed with heaps of local Irish butter. It just wouldn’t be the same without it. Whilst using a floury spud like Queens or Maris Pipers are at their best this time of year.
Fun fact: Did you know the rooster potato was ‘invented’ or bred or ‘created’ here in Ireland by Teagasc?
A super way to celebrate Lughnasa and the harvest festival is to gather each evening and enjoy a family meal together using seasonal fruit or vegetables. The meal doesn’t have to be extravagant, nor does it need to take a long time to make. We know time is precious after a long day at work.
Pick wild blackberries over the weekend from August to September and gently heat them with sugar and enjoy with fresh cream.
Cooking apples are coming into season now. Buy loose cooking apples (to reduce single use plastics!) and stew with sugar and cinnamon and enjoy over pancakes. Or use them to make an apple pie or crumble.
Fresh beetroot is absolutely delicious sliced thinly in a salad. Let children play around with the beetroot, as their hands will turn the colours of the rainbow, mainly purple. Exploration and fun with food is super for development. Stay away from cream carpets and sofas during this ‘exploration’ though!
Courgette is a super vegetable for cooking! Its flowers can be stuffed, it can be used in making soda bread, making fritters, salads, muffins, low carbohydrate lasagna, cakes, pickle, curry, risotto, linguini, tarts, quiche, soup etc. The world is your oyster really as it’s very much in season.
Whilst the humble cauliflower is more than cauliflower cheese. We love vegan cauliflower buffalo wings, roasted cauliflwer ‘steaks’ with a caper dressing, and cauliflower curry. It’s super in salads, blended as an accompaniment (but not as a rice alternative – you need your carbs!), as a high fibre pizza crust, soup and more.
Furthermore, light and bright broad beans are super quick to cook with. You can make dishes like a Pea and Broad Bean Risotto, Broad Bean Barley & Mint Salad, Chicken & Broadbean Pasta, Pan Fried pork Chop with Broad Bean Mint & Scallion Crush Potatoes.
What’s In Season Now?
- Broad beans
- Butterhead lettuce
- Celery (great as a base in soups, casseroles, sauces)
- Mange tout