A Guide to Summer Produce: Part 2
Season: year-round, but best in the summer
Known as the “king” of herbs, basil has reigned as one of the oldest and most popular herbs for its rich flavor and health benefits. The best way to retain its flavor and volatile oils is to buy it fresh. Be sure to select basil that doesn't have dark spots and isn't wilted. If it bears a pungent smell and bright green leaves, it’s ready to be used in the kitchen. Need inspiration? Prepare to be stunned by these basil recipes.
Season: June to late August
This green summer squash is quite versatile and tasty. Because of its high water content, zucchini is simple to cook and adds a nice texture to a salad when eaten raw. For the most flavorful and fresh zucchini, look for those that are small to medium-sized (6-8 inches) and are firm and free of cuts. Once you’ve found your prized zucchini, the final step is to make these zesty zucchini recipes.
Season: June to September
From cherry to beefsteak varieties, tomatoes possess much diversity in appearance, texture and taste. The key to finding a ripe tomato is to check the bottom for its mature ripe color. It also helps to look for a slight firmness, dense weight, shiny and glossy skin, and a sweet smell. All of those things will help you find the perfect tomato. Now, all you need are great recipes to get you started. But wait, we have just the recipes for you.
Season: May to September
For the most ripened corn, the most important thing to look for is a fresh husk. Look for brown silk tips or ends and kernels reaching from ear to ear. It’s always helpful to do a little peek test by pulling back on its husk and inspecting its kernels. I personally like to discard the husks and leaves at the supermarket during the process. It makes for an easier transition once you start cooking your favorite summer corn recipes.
Season: July to October
To find an excellent eggplant, you will need to look for one(s) that have bright, shiny skin without soft spots. Keep in mind that larger eggplants are more bitter than smaller ones. Once you get home, the best way to store them is to keep leave them on a counter in a ventilated container that’s away from the sunlight. Now you are free to indulge in eggplants galore. For starters, try our favorite eggplant recipes!
Check out even more summer produce tips on A Guide to Summer Produce: Part 1