Summer Standards ��� Corn And Squash Are The Best

It’s peak summer, which means the farmers markets are now bursting with peaches, tomatoes, corn and other glistening produce. Before you strut into the dizzying array, here’s a brief guide to the goods you’ll probably encounter in these golden weeks of summer:

First, the

melons. Thanks to Becky Krystal, you now know all about picking the best watermelon and recipes to use them. Strolling through the market, you’ll probably spy some other types, too, such as cantaloupe and honeydew. You could keep it simple and make a >Melon and Cucumber Salad

, pictured above. Or pick up a few other numbers (grapes and pineapple) from the store and make a dandy Fresh Fruit With Celery Seed Dressing. Feel more like improvising? Then head over to our primer on making a great fruit salad, featuring plenty of tips to take it from boring to brilliant.

[The secret to cooking with your favorite summer produce: Keep it simple.]

(Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Next, the

berries. The three you’ll most likely meet are blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Try them in a 

Faux Summer Berry Tart (it’s “faux” because you’re not making a crust, but rather crushing up a cookie and binding it together with some honey), or pick something to highlight the individual fruit, such as Venetian Iced Raspberry CreamBlueberry Cake Squares or Fresh Cheese Ice Cream With Blackberries. You may also see currants (red and/or black) and gooseberries — which range from tart to sweet-tart, depending on the bunch; they’re delightful cooked down into a sauce for pork or lamb, or, like any summer fruit, they make a lovely crumble, too.

(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Stone fruit are many people’s favorite, for good reason: You’ll encounter crates brimming with fragrant, sweet, juicy peaches and nectarines, plus, hopefully, cartons of apricots, plums and cherries

Pan-Grilled Apricots With Honey-Orange Lavender Syrup make for an elegant dish; you could also make this with peaches, nectarines or plums.

[In risotto, on top of chicken or simply grilled: 5 of our best peach recipes]

You’ll probably see a few apples, too. This is normal, even if you think it’s not quite autumnal enough for them; they’ll start tart, with varieties such as Lodi (great for saucing!), then gradually increase their ranks until, come November, they and the flannel are all that remain. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — it’s only July! On to the vegetables and fruit that get treated as such:

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

There’s something special about baskets brimming with >corn

, so snatch up some ears and make a batch of 

Crispy, Smoky Skillet Corn. Or these nubby Corn and Spinach Pancakes. Or a spicy Thai salad; it uses another market beauty, fresh green beans. You could even make ice cream! But if you’d rather eat straight from the cob, may we suggest this fun Elote Corn With Charred-Corn Mayo?

[Today’s botany lesson: Corn sex]

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Fresh, local, super flavorful >tomatoes

, of all shapes, sizes and colors, are worth the wait the rest of the year. We’ll have a special recipe collection devoted just to them, soon. In the meantime, this 

Summer Tomato Panzanella is a classic.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Fingers of >okra

may also beckon. Blister them and dress them with something creamy, as in this

Okra With Buttermilk-Chive DressingBraised Okra With Tomatoes, Peppers and Spices is a delight served with rice. Savory cakes are always nice, and these Okra and Corn Cakes With Tomatoes, Feta and Pepitas are no exception.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)


is another winner, and at the farmers market, you’ll probably see more varieties than you usually do at a grocery store. (Unless you shop at grocery stores with a great produce selection, in which case, we salute you.) Make Eggplant Tacos With Pico de GalloEggplant With Capers and Mint, or, a favorite, >Fried Eggplant Rolls With Walnut-Garlic Filling (Badrijani Nigvzit)


And of course, you’ll find summer squash, cucumberspotatoes, beets, broccoli, peppersgreens and, on the other end of the produce spectrum, things you may not have even knew existed. The best advice we can give, though, is this: When you see something you’re unsure of, just ask the kind folks working at the farm stand what they’re making these days. If they’re anything like us, they’ll have plenty of suggestions.

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Source :

You bought a ton of summer produce at the farmers market. This is what you cook with it.
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