What would summer be without the sweet crunch of lettuces and salad greens? An essential addition to tacos and sandwiches and the foundation of salads from Caesar to Cobb, the innumerable varieties of lettuce lend crispness to all kinds of summer dishes. They vary widely in flavor and texture: Iceberg lettuce, for example, has a sweet, watery crunch that’s at home in a wedge salad with blue cheese; crisp romaine is ideal for adding to sandwiches; watercress has a bright, peppery flavor; and mizuna, a Japanese member of the mustard family, has a gentle spicy zing.
Available in the U.S. from late May to early October, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines are among the most delectable of summer’s stone fruits, so-called because they contain a stone, or pit, at the center that encases the seed. We love to eat them out of hand, of course, but they’re also delightful in an abundance of sweet and savory recipes: think green bean and peach salad, nectarine and plum chicken tagine, stone fruit rosé sangria, and irresistible pies and cobblers.
While many are available year-round from the grocery store, summer brings abundant fresh herbs that thrive in hot weather, such as basil, rosemary, and thyme, to the farmers’ market. You can use fresh herbs in innumerable ways for every type of dish: Add them to marinades, throw them into salads, purée them into pesto and toss with pasta or vegetables, and use them to infuse oils or even flavor ice creams.
This season, enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables. Take the time to shop at your local farmers market and shop for produce that adds colorful nutrition to your Summer menus.
Nutrients are at their peak when produce is just picked , so fruits and vegetables from the farmers market is just bursting with healthy flavors.So here are some tips for shopping at your local farmer’s market:
- Go early in the morning, when the selection is best.
- Bring your own reusable bags and a cooler with ice,if the produce is going to be left in a car for a few hours
- Try a new vegetable that you have not tried before, such as Japanese eggplant or gooseberries.
- Select the most brightly colored produce, because it’s often the most healthiest, like yellow tomatoes or orange bell peppers.
- When buying greens in bunches, look for leaves that
are bright and crisp.
- In selecting berries, especially blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, make sure that they are firm and dry to the touch.
- Always be flexible when shopping in a farmers market. Seasonal produce selection will change from week to week.
- Make sure you talk with the vendors, because they know a lot about their products and may even offer a recipe or two.
To find a farmers market near you, use the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s link at:
Input your ZIP code to find locations, hours, and other details.
You can also search for farmers markets at: