With summer officially here, the growing season is in full swing. Time to give the root vegetables a rest; farmer’s markets and grocery stores are bursting with produce fresh picked from the vine, bush, and tree. Here’s a guide to 5 vegetables and fruits that are better now than they will be at any other time of year.
The sweetness, flavor and crunch of farm-fresh peas is well worth waiting for. Buy them at the farmer’s market or produce stand and you can pick out the plumpest ones yourself, pod by pod.
How to fix: Snap peas need nothing other than a quick wash and dry; then dip them in hummus or a yogurt-based dip or toss into a salad. Snow peas can also be eaten raw, but many people prefer them lightly steamed, sautéed in olive oil, or added to a stir fry.
These aren’t the wimpy, wilted stalks you were seeing a few months ago, but nice thick sturdy stalks that retain their crispness when cooked.
How to fix: Lightly steam, then serve with olive oil whisked with lemon, and garlic. Or “shock” by quickly boiling or steaming, then dropping into a bath of water and ice cubes. Kept crisp this way, they’re great for dipping.
One of America’s favorite late spring and early summer fruits, strawberries have gotten a bad rap lately because of the soil fumigants and pesticides used to grow commercial berries. But organic berries are everywhere in June, so enjoy to your heart’s content.
How to fix: Eat plain, add to cereal or yogurt, or make early June’s favorite seasonal dessert, strawberry shortcake.
There are few foods as perfect as a ripe juicy peach – and few as disappointing as one that’s dry, mealy or rubbery. This month that danger ends, as Flame, Fancy Lady, and other early varieties begin to arrive.
How to fix: Try grilling peaches and serving in a sandwich with mascarpone cheese, arugula and balsamic vinegar.
Often overlooked in favor of onions, leeks are sweeter and more delicate, but still add a nice spicy bite.
How to fix: Leeks make a great addition to salads, soups, and sandwiches and are particularly good in egg-based dishes such as quiche.