Yum Yum Yum! It’s sum-yummer again, and locavores everywhere are happy as pigs in you-know-what. Whether you’re blessed with weekly deliveries direct from the farm or you source fresh food from farmers markets and (oh, you’re so lucky!) your own backyard, there should be no shortage of wonderful ingredients for supernutritious, home-cooked meals this summer.
Plus, the time is ripe for picking many kinds of mushrooms and plenty of other wonderful forageables. And thank goodness for the weather, because absolutely everything tastes better eaten outside.
What’s in Season?
The following foods should be in season and available in most parts of the country during the summer months.
Herbs: basil, borage, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, summer savory, thyme
Salad Greens: arugula, beet greens, lettuce, mizuna, radish greens, sorrel, spinach, tatsoi
Cooking Greens: bok choy, chrysanthemum greens, collard greens, kale, mustard, turnip greens, Swiss chard
Garden Veggies: artichokes, avocados, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, peas (field, snow and snap), peppers, potatoes, radishes, tomatillos, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini
Sea Veggies: dulse, Irish moss, various kelps, nori (laver), sea palm, wrack
Fruits: apricots, berries (blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries), cherries, figs, grapes, lemons, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, plums
Ephemeral Garden Treats: edible flowers (the blossoms of arugula, basil, calendula, chives, cilantro, lavender, marjoram, nasturtium, oregano, roses, rosemary, sage, thyme and violets), squash blossoms
Wild Edibles: beach peas, burdock, cat brier, lamb’s quarters, purslane, red clover, wild berries, yellow dock
Animal Products: Eggs and milk from animals eating summer’s bright green grasses are highly nutritious. Summer is prime chicken season, and lamb is most tender in early summer.
Fish: bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, trout, walleye
Nuts & Seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
Mushrooms: bearded tooth, bolete, cauliflower, chanterelle, coral fungi, fairy ring, maitake, lobster, matsutake, mousseron, oyster, porcini, puffball, shaggy mane, shiitake, sulfur shelf, wood blewit (Note: Before you go out harvesting mushrooms, get a good field guide and be sure you know what you’re doing. Learn to identify various mushroom species with absolute certainty, so that you won’t pick anything poisonous!)
Check out the summer recipes:
Easy Grilled Vegetables
Quick and Easy Nonstop Pickles
Quinoa-Zucchini Cakes With Summer Herbs
Spicy Flame-Grilled Bloody Mary
Homemade Ice Cream: Green Tea and Vanilla Bean
Senior Associate Editor Tabitha Alterman had way too much fun testing ice cream makers and Bloody Marys for this article.