Run (Don't Walk) To Your Local Farmer's Market to Cook This In-Season Produce
Feast your eyes on these dozen fresh farmer’s market finds.
Once the cherry trees blossom and roadside farm stands open up, we know it’s time to stock up on fresh, local produce. June signals the peak of summer produce and we can’t wait to get our hands on the likes of sweet berries, crisp cucumbers, leafy lettuce, and vibrant rhubarb. Without further ado, here are a dozen fruits and vegetables to keep an eye out for this month, plus our favorite ways to cook with each of them.
From the Super Bowl to Cinco de Mayo to our morning toast, it seems like we’re always stocking up on avocados. Prime hass avocado season in California peaks in summer. While we love our year-round supply of Mexican avocados, we jump at the chance to support local farmers whenever possible.
One cup of these vibrant purple (or golden yellow) veggies pack in 12% potassium, 15% fiber, and 11% vitamin C. Once cooked, peel the hot beets by rubbing a kitchen towel against the skin (one that you don’t mind getting deep pink dye on), since a towel is gentler than a vegetable peeler.
How to Cook with Beets: Always wanted to cook with beets but never know what to do with them? You’ll do more than boil and dice in these recipes for Beets with Crème Fraîche, Shallots, and Pistachios, Beets with Brown-Butter Bread Crumbs, and Roasted Beet and Leek Soup.
Loaded with antioxidants, anti-aging, and immune boosting properties, berries are a sweet addition to breakfast, brunch, and desserts. To prevent premature rotting, don’t wash the berries until you’re ready to eat them; excess water can encourage mold growth.
How to Cook with Berries: Berries picked in June will be particularly plump and sweet, which makes them a stunning add-in to Mixed Berry Biscuit Cobbler, Barley Breakfast Bowl with Mixed Berry Compote, and Overnight Oats with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds.
Stock up these stone fruits—both sour and sweet—as they’ve been shown to lower bad cholesterol, protect from diabetes, and help you sleep. Freeze fresh cherries in a single layer, so that you can have them on hand for autumn and winter baking too.
There’s nothing more refreshing than crisp, cool cucumbers in a summer salad, thirst-quenching punch, or as an easy snack. Cucumbers come in three main varieties—slicing, pickling, and burpless—the latter of which are said to be the sweetest and easiest to digest.
How to Cook with Cucumbers: While they’re the perfect refreshing afternoon snack, cucumbers are also delicious in these recipes for Cucumbers with Fried and Pickled Shallots, Kiwi-Cucumber Pops, and Spicy Corn and Cucumber Salsa.
There’s so much more you can do to green beans then just boil and serve with a pat of butter. These fibrous, vitamin C-rich vegetables are delicious raw, steamed, or sautéed. You can even prep them in advance—blanch the beans quickly in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then store them in an airtight container up to a day ahead of serving.
How to Cook with Green Beans: Green beans don’t need to be boring! They feel elegant in these indulgent recipes for Steak with Gnocchi and Green Beans, Chard-Stuffed Pork Chops with Green Beans, and Green Beans with Miso, Mustard, and Walnuts.
Ombré green leeks come from the allium family, which includes onions and garlic though they’re milder in flavor. Leeks can trap sand and dirt between their many fine layers, so be sure to thoroughly soak them in water to remove debris before cooking with them.
How to Cook with Leeks: Once sliced, leeks turn into ribbons of bright flavor in Fettuccine with Asparagus, Leeks, and Mint, Artichoke, Leek, and Bacon Quiche, and Mushroom and Leek Soup with Soba Noodles.
From crunchy romaine to bitter kale and peppery arugula, mixed greens taste best when freshly picked in spring. Buy a bunch from the farmer’s market, which will last longer than store-bought. Eat lettuce raw, grill it with coals, or mix it into a dip made for a backyard barbecue—the fresh flavor will be delicious any way you choose.
How to Cook with Lettuce: No salads in sight here. Turn up the volume with your lettuce in Buttermilk Ranch and Kale Dip, Korean-Style Lettuce Wraps, and Deep-Dish Sausage, Ricotta, and Onion Pizza with Tangy Romaine.
New potatoes, also known as baby potatoes, refers to the first crop of potatoes that are picked before they’ve grown full-size. They’re sweeter and moister than potatoes that haven’t been plucked prematurely.
How to Cook with New Potatoes: There’s nothing old-fashioned about these new potato dishes like Crispy New Potatoes with Oregano and Garlic, Creamy Dill Potato Salad, and Sheet Tray Shrimp and Potatoes with Lemon.
Radishes have a peppery, slight bitter bite when served raw. Aside from their pretty pink skin which has antioxidants, one cup of sliced, raw radishes also serves up an impressive 22% of your daily vitamin C. No wonder rabbits have such a spring in their step!
How to Cook with Radishes: Radishes are so much more than an after-thought salad garnish. They’re gorgeous in Grapefruit, Beet, and Radish Salad, Miso Roasted Radishes, and Soft-Boiled Egg and Radish Smørrebrød.
Despite its popularity in sweet strawberry-rhubarb pie, rhubarb is actually a vegetable. Even though rhubarb is traditionally popular in desserts, it adds a pop of color and unique flavor to savory salads, too.
How to Cook with Rhubarb: We love recipes that show of rhubarb’s vibrant pinky-peach color, like Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, Roasted Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachio, and Mixed Berry-Rhubarb Crumble Cake.
Don’t boil fresh peas to a mushy fate. Instead, make them the star of your dinner in these recipes. Their crisp texture, bright green color, and sweet flavor are the epitome of fresh spring produce.