10 Summer Vegetables—and How to Cook With Them

Here's how to make the most of your summer produce.

Real Simple Tomatoes with ricotta cream and herbs
Photo: GREG DUPREE

Summer is just around the corner, and with the warmer weather comes an array of delicious summer produce ready to add some freshness to your meals. While it's relatively easy to get certain vegetables (and fruits) all year round now, there's nothing like biting into a newly harvested ear of corn, or whipping up a salad packed with juicy summer tomatoes. Summer is also a great time to stock up on veggies like cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans

Once you've loaded up on all of that fresh produce, you're going to need something to do with it. Scroll down for a myriad of recipes that really give nutritious bell peppers, eggplant, and more summer vegetables a chance to shine.

01 of 10

Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives

Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives
Salty feta, briny olives, and crisp cucumbers combine for a crunchy, addictive salad you’ll want to eat on repeat. Marinating feta and red pepper flakes in olive oil adds a spicy kick to the cheese, and adds some heat to the oil, too. You’ll drizzle some onto the salad, but save any remaining oil for salad dressings or grain bowls. Get the recipe:Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives. Jennifer Causey

Cucumbers are such a versatile vegetable, and they're easy to transform into something incredibly tasty. This smashed cucumber salad has a Mediterranean flare with the addition of briny olives and salty feta cheese.

02 of 10

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro
Sang An

Upgrade traditional grilled corn by making this tangy Mexican version. There's just something about perfectly charred sweet corn with lime juice and cilantro—it's a delicious side dish with meat, fish, or pasta.

03 of 10

Tomatoes With Ricotta and Herbs

Tomato With Ricotta and Herbs
Greg Dupree

There are many ways to use up fresh summer tomatoes, but the simpler the recipe, the better. This combination of juicy tomatoes, creamy ricotta, and fresh herbs makes this dish perfect for a backyard barbecue or a late afternoon lunch.

04 of 10

Pasta With Zucchini and Goat Cheese

Pasta With Zucchini and Goat Cheese
John Kernick

There's nothing quite as delicious as a light pasta dish in the summer. This recipe may be simple, but it doesn't lack flavor. Garlicky, lemony linguine is paired with fresh zucchini and creamy goat cheese. Trust us, this dish will be on rotation all summer long.

RELATED: 42 Perfect Pasta Recipes You'll Want to Make for Dinner Tonight (and Every Night)

05 of 10

Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmesan

Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmesan
Paul Sirisalee

If you find yourself with a bounty of eggplants at the end of the season, this savory and hearty dish is the best way to use them up. Serve it with a simple side salad or some garlic bread for a complete meal.

06 of 10

Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

Couscous-stuffed Peppers
David Prince

If you're looking for a healthy, filling weeknight meal, these untraditional stuffed peppers are perfect for the whole family. They're a bit salty and sweet thanks to the combination of feta and apricots.

07 of 10

Green Beans With Miso, Mustard, and Walnuts

Green Beans With Miso, Mustard, and Walnuts
Greg Dupree

These crispy, Asian-inspired green beans are full of flavor and are just as delicious when eaten cold the next day. Pair them with a lean piece of grilled salmon or chicken cutlets for a balanced meal.

08 of 10

Quinoa With Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Pesto

Quinoa With Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Pesto
Anna Williams

If you're growing kale in your garden, chances are you have more of it than you know what to do with. And if you're tired of making kale salads, try sautéing some in this quinoa dish, which also includes sweet potatoes, pesto, and crunchy walnuts.

RELATED: The 30 Healthiest Foods to Eat Every Day

09 of 10

Little Gems and Radishes With Ricotta Salata and Seeds

Little Gems and Radishes With Ricotta Salata and Seeds Recipe
Greg DuPree

Radishes are the star of this refreshing summer salad because they're crunchy and add a beautiful pop of color. Serve this delicate little gem salad at your next dinner party, because it's sure to impress your guests.

10 of 10

Sugar Snaps With Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Shaved Parmigiano

Sugar Snaps With Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Shaved Parmigiano
Maria Robledo

Lemon, olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan are the key to enhancing any vegetable. That's certainly the case with this cold, crunchy sugar snap peas recipe. Just be careful not to eat this entire dish before dinner!

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