The most obvious sign of summer? A plethora of gorgeous, local produce available. With temperatures on the rise and longer days, June’s harvest is full of colorful variety. In-season produce always tastes better and is almost always cheaper, so there is really no reason not to stock up on all the healthy, tasty options in season right now.
Asparagus is still in season but enjoy it now. The crop varies from year to year, but usually by the end of the month it’s difficult to find tender asparagus. Here’s how to cook asparagus four ways.
Get a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and vitamin C when you add beets to your diet. The earthy vegetable comes in season this month and sticks around through December, so you have plenty of time to try them roasted, in salads, juices, and more.
Broccoli is a sun-loving cool-weather crop, so spring and fall are ideal times to grow broccoli. It’s rich in vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, iron, and fiber, so this is one nutrition powerhouse you don’t want to miss.
Carrots are a root vegetable that prefer to grow during the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. Carrots are one of the most versatile vegetables, so nothing should stop you from slipping them into smoothies, side dishes, salads, and more.
Peak corn season lasts May through September. Corn is grown in all 50 states, so no matter where you live, it will be easy to find fresh, local corn at your farmers market or roadside stand. When buying corn, look for husks that have a green sheen to them and have tacky feeling ends. Also, feel through the husk — kernels should feel plump. If you feel bar spots, you should put it back and choose another. Now, learn how to make perfect corn on the cob every time.
Cucumbers are harvest ready in about 50-70 days, so you’ll start to see cucumbers hit market this month. Look for veggies that are green and succulent. If the fruit has started to turn yellow, it’s past its prime.
Spring greens will continue to be at their peak this month. You can find arugula, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard now, depending on where you live. Toss is pastas, pestos, sauté, and make killer salads.
Fresh herbs can make a turn a boring dish into a household favorite. You can usually find herbs year round at the grocery store, but they’re often overly expensive. Herbs coming into season now include chives, dill, green onions, mint, and thyme. And if your buy too much, always remember you can freeze them.
Peas are the picture of spring. Sure, frozen ones might do the trick in the winter, but fresh peas are full of fresh flavor — sweetening up a bit when they cook. Enjoy then early this month, because by the heat of summer, they’ll be gone.
Spring’s first big veggie, rhubarb, will stick around a bit longer, but will also bolt by the end of the month. But no need to worry. You can enjoy the tart taste of rhubarb all year long — like in this delicious strawberry rhubarb pie — if you learn to freeze it properly.
Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring. You can enjoy the local crop through the month of June. They’re most delicious eaten right out of your hand, but they can make fantastic additions to appetizers, salads, smoothies, and, of course, desserts.