While some of our favorite eats can be enjoyed at any time of the year, it is clear that many items rely on the weather and season to present themselves as ripe and ready to eat. Summertime consists of holiday barbecues, outdoor dining and a bit more time to enjoy dinner out. Some of the best choices when it comes to the sunny season may even surprise you.
Basil. While this herb is available year round, it’s peak season is the summer. When selecting it (or growing it yourself), make sure that the leaves are not wilted and there aren’t any dark spots. With over 60 different types of basil to choose from, add some extra freshness to your pizzas, drinks (great in lemonade) or salads.
Peaches. A summertime favorite, this fruit is in season from May through September, and you can usually tell that peaches are ready to eat simply by the scent they give off when you near the stand. Make sure the skin is taut and free of bruising, and scatter this into all sorts of different foods. When cold, peaches are a great addition to things like salads, skewers and mojitos, and when warm, they fall nicely over ice cream, pie or chutney.
Figs. These delicious and seasonally available produce essentials take minimal time and effort to turn a meal from drab to delectable. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and cut the stems off to readily enjoy them in salads, on desserts or in sandwiches. It doesn’t take a lot to turn a dish sweet. Wrap them in bacon, place them on the grill and have an appetizer ready for everyone!
Corn. May through September is peak season for this New World crop, and it certainly has endless possibilities for sprucing up summer meals. Use it for salsa bases on dishes like tacos or tortilla chips; bake it into rounder entrees like crab cakes and burgers; or simply roast it on the grill and enjoy good ole’ fashioned corn on the cob in your own backyard!
Eggplant. Store this summertime favorite on the counter-top as opposed to the refrigerator, and enjoy it roasted on a sandwich, chopped up in a salad or even stuffed with goodies like falafel, rice, quinoa and more!