Thanks to modern farming techniques most produce is available year round, but nothing beats fresh, ripe summer produce. Buying produce in season not only means better prices, but also exceptional flavor and quality. Here are my favorite fruit and vegetables that I eagerly wait for each summer.
Melon – Packed with Vitamin C, fresh melon is not only flavorful, but its juicy flesh is ultra-refreshing in the summer heat. Try a refreshing mint and melon salad, blending melon into smoothies, or using the juice for cocktails.
Berries – After eating frozen berries all winter, the first taste of a fresh blueberry or strawberry is heaven. Growing seasons are short and vary depending on the region, so make sure to grab them up while they’re good. Save the summer flavor with this freezable strawberry lemonade concentrate.
Stone Fruit – Peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums are at their peak from mid to late summer and have a sweetness unrivaled by their off-season counterparts. Try grilling these juicy gems or mixing them into a sweet and spicy salsa.
Zucchini – When zucchini is in season, it is everywhere! The good news is that this amazing green vegetable is equally delicious in sweet and savory dishes. Whip up a vegetarian zucchini lasagna for dinner and then have a rich and sweet zucchini bread for dessert.
Cucumber – Off-season cucumbers can be dry and limp, but a fresh summer cucumber is light, crisp, and refreshing. Take cucumbers beyond salads and try infusing your favorite summer cocktail with a few refreshing slices.
Asparagus – The price of asparagus fluctuates wildly throughout the year, so I make sure to get my fill when they’re inexpensive and abundant. Look for in-season asparagus from spring through early summer.
Basil – Fresh basil boasts a completely different flavor than dried basil, so when it’s available fresh, I can’t resist! To take advantage of its amazing flavor, try a classic caprese salad or margherita pizza.
Corn – Fresh sweet corn is one of summer’s true delights. When corn is at its peak, you can often get three to four ears for a dollar! Forget boiling your corn and try boosting the flavor by grilling or roasting your corn with a melange of spices.
Tomatoes – Hot house tomatoes are available even in the coldest of months, but their flavor pales in comparison to a tomato ripened by the summer sun. Capture this amazing summer flavor in a fresh gazpacho or a simple tomato salad.