Seasonal Produce to Incorporate Into Your Cooking This August
Summer’s End Just Got a Whole Lot Sweeter With These Seasonal Veggies and Fruit
When the dog days of summer finally hit, you don’t need to put away your summer recipe book just yet. Just as beets, cherries, cucumbers, and leafy greens are best in June while blackberries, blueberries, and tomatoes are tastiest in July, August has its own list of delicious ripe fruits and veggies to help keep your summer cooking fresh and tasty.
August is the perfect time to incorporate late summer’s colorful harvest into your meals. Shopping for seasonal veggies at the grocery store will help you ensure that you get the tastiest vegetables at the market. Seasonal veggies are more ripe and often cheaper than vegetables that have been shipped in from across the globe, because they aren’t in season in the US.
If you have a vegetable garden, make sure to keep track of what will be ripe and when, so that you can incorporate ripe garden veggies into all your seasonal recipes. Check out this list of the 7 delicious vegetables that will be ripe and ready for your recipes this August.
There’s an old farmer’s saying that goes something like, “knee high by the fourth of July,” which means that corn crops should be about that height by mid-summer. This also means that by August, healthy corn crops are full of juicy, delicious sweet corn that’s ready to hit the markets.
Mix up the classic corn on the cob staple by grilling it and using a coconut glaze to help bring out the already sweet flavor of the corn. Find recipes like this and others from Food and Wine, then tell us your favorite summer corn recipe on social media.
Use up the last tomatoes from the garden by combining them with seasonal eggplant in this delicious recipe, which combines delicious grilled eggplant with a spicy thick tomato sauce; find the recipe on Serious Eats.
Because of the countless ways to prepare eggplant, they are one of a few perfect summer vegetables. Eggplants pair well with countless other summer fruits, taste great in hot or cold recipes, and also do well as a standalone veggie.
3) Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are colorful, sweet, and juicy — perfect for end of the summer cookouts. For starters, you can barbecue them up alongside sausage and corn for an easy meal that is both filling and light.
Fire up the grill and toss on some bell peppers for a grilled bell pepper flatbread, like this one from Martha Stewart. If it’s cool enough in the house to turn on the oven, try roasting them with garlic and butter for a simple yet delicious side dish.
Depending on where you live, bell peppers will likely come from a farm closer to home in the late summer, so now is the perfect time to load up on them.
Figs can be a finicky fruit, so its best to take advantage of them when they’re in season and most likely to be ripe, juicy, and sweet. There’s nothing better than finishing off a summery meal with a sweet fig tart — like this no-bake summer fig tart from Scaling Back.
Because figs are so versatile, you can spin most fig dishes as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Pair them with basil and mozzarella for a fun twist on the classic caprese salad, or wrap them in prosciutto after coating them with goat cheese for an amazingly simple appetizer at your next summer shindig.
5) Summer Squash
A sweet summer squash works perfectly as both a main dish or a side. Keep it cool with summer squash pickles, which are easy, colorful, and work perfectly as a snack or side dish at your next BBQ party.
Just cut your squash into thin ribbons and let them drain on parchment paper for about an hour, then place them in a mason jar. Boil vinegar and sugar for about 3 minutes before pouring over your drained squash; you can find the full recipe on My Recipes.
Zucchini are a relatively foolproof summer vegetable that are easy to grow and super versatile when it comes to summer recipes. If you have a few zuke plants in your garden, chances are that by August your garden will be full and ready for harvest.
Zucchini pancakes are the perfect side dish to liven up this classic veggie’s presence on your table this summer. Mix in some red onion and enjoy this surprisingly delicious snack for lunch or dinner.
7) Swiss Chard
Swiss chard’s mild flavor is the perfect addition to practically every dish that requires some sort of green. What’s more, it’s loaded up with vitamins A, K, and C. It’s the perfect substitute for other leafy greens when you get tired of spinach or kale.
Try this lemony Swiss chard salad from Bon Appétit, which is the perfect side to any summer dish. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require you to turn on the oven on those last hot days of the summer.