Never know what’s growing now? Let’s take it one season at a time, with the Foods That Taste Better Now Than They Will All Year.
June 21 is the first official day of summer, which means we’re squarely in in-season season. The farmers’ markets will soon be bursting with produce. “This time of year we are looking for color,” says Tara O’Brady, author of the new book Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day. Add these are six colorful foods to your farmers’ market shopping list.
Strawberries: “What’s more evocative of summer than strawberries?” says O’Brady. Some tasty strawberries may arrive in May, but June has especially delicious varieties. Once you start seeing “pick your own strawberries” signs pop up, take note: that’s when they’re in top form. “The great thing about sumer fruit is you don’t have to do a lot of prep to make it to look bright and gorgeous,” says O’Brady. Try your strawberries pickled or in desserts like strawberry shortcake, she says.
Asparagus: In early summer you can get nice, thick asparagus spears, which provide more snap and crunch than the thin ones. While some of the earliest chubbier varieties may start appearing in the states in the spring, they should be more nationally available this month. “You get a mix of texture with the thicker ones,” says O’Brady. “They will be tender on the outside and almost raw in the center when cooked.” Add asparagus to summer salads for an extra crunch.
Peas: They’re fine frozen, but there’s nothing more delightful than fresh spring and summer peas. “Take advantage of fresh peas at their peak,” says O’Brady. They’ll be at their best at the end of June, and you’ll know the good batches by their bright green pods.
Peaches: This month you’ll start to see the juicy fruits hitting grocery store shelves, and June is one of O’Brady’s favorite months to get them. Toss them in salads and summer cocktails.
Beets: Surprisingly, beets aren’t just for winter; they’re tasty in summer, too. “In the summer beets are fresh and they have a totally different texture,” says O’Brady. “They have a really earthy taste and a bit of sweetness.” Try mixing summer beets into your coleslaw for an extra kick.
Garlic: Green garlic and spring garlic are in season in June. “You’ll often see this in farmers markets and CSA boxes, and it is edible from bulb to the tender part of the stalk,” says O’Brady. “It is brilliant whole grilled and on pizza, or mince it and use it as you would garlic cloves or leeks, where it will impart a slightly milder, rounder flavor.”