Summer is officially one week away! One of my favorite lazy weekend activities is finding my way to a farmer’s market and picking the most delicious produce. Check out what you may find this summer and what to do with it.
What’s in Season?
- Arugula – Look for leaves that are uniformly dark green. Larger leaves are more spicy than smaller leaves. Keep packaged arugula in its original container. Don’t wash arugula until immediately before use. Use in salads or on top of grilled fish.
- Avocados – If you want to eat avocados immediately look for ones that are a bit soft to the touch. Otherwise, buy avocados that are firm and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Use raw on salads, with eggs, as a snack, or make guacamole!
- Beets – Choose beets that are firm and smooth. Look for beet greens that are bright and not wilted. Don’t throw out the beet greens! They’re tasty too. Don’t wash beets until immediately before use. Store beet roots in the crisper. Beets are great roasted as a side or in salads. Use gloves when working with beets to prevent staining.
- Berries – Look for brightly colored, plump berries. Don’t wash berries until immediately before eating. Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Eat as a snack or over yogurt.
- Chard – Find crisp looking stalks without wilting. Store chard in the crisper. Wash chard in cold water and pat dry. Use in salads or sauteed as a side.
- Cherries – Choose bright and shiny fruit with the stems still attached. Rinse the cherries and remove the pit before using in dishes. Eat them as a snack or pitted and chopped in a salad.
- Corn – Look for fresh corn that has plump, bright kernels and tight husks. Cook corn the same day you buy it or store in the fridge for a couple days. Remove the husks and silks before cooking. Grill or boil corn or cut kernels off the cob and add to salads and salsas.
- Eggplant – Pick eggplants that are firm, smooth, and heavy for their size. Cook eggplant within a few days of buying them. Peel large eggplants as the skin is not very edible. Use them for a vegetarian main dish or chopped in a side dish.
- Figs – I love figs! Choose fragrant, smooth figs. They can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Eat them whole, slice for salads, or over yogurt.
- Melons – Look for melons that are heavy for their size and give a little with pressure. Ripe melons can be stored at room temperature. Melons that have been cut should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Slice melon and scoop out the seeds. Use in salads, for appetizers, or as a snack.
- Potatoes – Choose potatoes that are firm with no dark spots, cuts, or sprouts. Store in a cool, dry place away from onions. Scrub potatoes before using and use within a few days of buying them. I don’t think I need to tell you how to use potatoes!
- Spinach – Find leaves that are dark green and smooth. Remove any wilted leaves from the bunch and store in the crisper. Rinse spinach and spin dry. Use as the base of a salad or saute as a side.
- Stone fruits – Peaches, nectarines, and plums. Look for fruit that is smooth and firm. They generally smell just as good as they taste! Once they are tender to the touch store in the crisper. Use in salads, as a dessert with ice cream, or as a snack.
- Summer squash – Choose medium sized squash with brightly colored skin. Store in the crisper. Lightly scrub summer squash before cooking. Saute, bake, fry, or grill as a side.
- Sweet peppers – Pick peppers with smooth, firm skin. Store peppers in the crisper. Green bell peppers last a few days longer than yellow, orange, and red bell peppers. Wash peppers and remove ribs and seeds before cooking. Roast peppers, eat them raw, or stuff for a vegetarian main dish.
- Tomatoes – Look for plump tomatoes with firm skin. Tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes come in various colors so don’t be afraid to try them! Store tomatoes at room temperate. Gently rinse tomatoes before use. Use in salads, on sandwiches and wraps, in salsas, or in side dishes.
- Watermelon – Find smooth, round melons that produce a dull sound when tapped. Store watermelon in the refrigerator. Wrap sliced melon in plastic wrap before storing in the fridge. Use watermelon as a snack or a sweet, fruit dessert.