Summer Eats: The Best Produce in Season Now

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

It’s no secret that summertime is the best time for fresh, seasonal produce. As the weather warms up, so does the growing season, meaning fruits and vegetables that were grown in your neck of the woods — not shipped from eternally warm places like California and South America. As farmers markets spring up around the country, it is helpful to know what produce is grown locally, and what is set to be harvested this month and the rest of the summer.

Eat The Seasons has an easy to read month-by-month guide of what fruits, vegetables, and even meat and fish are the best to buy. Here’s what should grace your kitchen counters in the month of June!

Vegetables

Arugula, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, corn, cucumbers, kohlrabi, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and zucchini are all harvested during the month of June. While we love all of these picks, this recipe from Once Upon a Chef for grilled asparagus with feta is a summertime favorite.

Grilled Asparagus and Feta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled feta

Directions: Heat grill to high. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on grill perpendicular to grill grates to prevent asparagus from falling through. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, until browned and tender. Let cool, then cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Toss with lemon zest and juice, additional olive oil and feta. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Fruits

Apricots, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, melons, passionfruit, pineapple, plums, and strawberries can all be found at the farm stand this month. Strawberry rhubarb is a classic combination, and with both ingredients fresh in June, there is no better time to try these strawberry rhubarb crisp bars from Smitten Kitchen.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plus up to 2 tablespoons extra all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup small-diced rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
  • 1 cup small-diced strawberries
  • Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom and two sides of 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Place oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, and salt in bottom of baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over the mixture, and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

Let cool in pan. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.

If you want to narrow it down to what is actually grown in your state, this interactive map from Epicurious is also a great tool. Whether you’re interested in only checking out your state, or what is available across the country, hover over a state, and the produce grown will appear. Epicurious has links to recipes that incorporate the fruits or vegetables so you can whip up something fresh for dinner.

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