There are some things in life that undeniably scream summer—sunny days, sandy feet and rosé are a few. A very specific assortment of produce is another. After a long, cold, winter, there is nothing more satisfying than enjoying the fruits and veggies that are either not available or not ripe during the winter months.
Unfortunately, like summer, the season to buy and enjoy these fruits and vegetables must come to an end at some point. There are only so many watermelon slices to be eaten, so much corn to be grilled. That’s why there’s no better time than now to get into a cooking routine.
Plus, there are more than just taste reasons to eat seasonally and locally. When you buy things according to the season, you are buying “food that’s at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store,” according to LifeHacker. Lower overhead for the farmer means lower prices for you. It’s also best to do this type of shopping at a farmer’s market, where you can ensure the in-season produce is sourced locally to you, too.
Below, check out five of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables along with recipe ideas to enjoy them.
Rhubarb is tart, works great in a strawberry rhubarb pie and is only available for a certain amount of time during the summer. That small window of delicious opportunity can be jarring, so why not jar up your sorrows and keep the taste of rhubarb in your pantry around all season long? This recipe for rhubarb syrup is so easy, and once you make it, the rhubarb-y possibilities are endless. Cocktails, marinades, ice cream, or dare we say straight out of the jar? Yum.
Peaches are a fantastic fruit, but getting one that is out of season can be, well, the pits. Pick out some peaches in the summer for snacking, baking and even cooking, like this grilled peach pizza recipe that also involves mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. What. Could. Be. Bad?
OK, there is seriously nothing more quintessentially summer than watermelon. We countdown the days until we get to get our hands on this sweet, sticky stuff. We’d put watermelon in every meal if we could, which is what makes this Greek watermelon salad, complete with onion, feta cheese and olives, an ideal summer lunch situation. That is, if you can keep yourself from eating all of it before it goes in the salad.
We’re the first to admit that we’re basically corn purists. A cob fresh off the grill with some butter and salt is more than enough of a preferred way to mix it into our diets. But if you’re looking to try something new, perhaps a Mexican corn salad is in the cards? Thanks to cilantro, cheese, garlic (and more deliciousness), it makes a perfect side dish to bring to a barbecue, though it’s also pretty perfect on its own, straight out of the bowl. Hey, we’re not here to judge.
When you think squash, you might think winter root vegetables that belong in a hearty winter’s night stew. If that’s the case, it’s time to broaden your squash horizons. Summer squash, like zucchini, is freshest this time of year and is so, so versatile. Spiralize yours into zoodles, grill it up on the barbecue with some red onion or try out this chilled summer soup, which when paired with a nice glass of rosé, sounds like a hit.