July marks a turning point at the market, as spring’s offerings give way to the fruits and vegetables of summer and early fall. Vibrant colors are on full display, and sweet flavors and light and juicy textures dominate the season. This is the time when heating-loving Solanums (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants) and Cucurbits (cucumbers, melons, and summer squash) get their day in the sun.
Other fruits, such as syrupy-sweet figs and plump, juicy blackberries, are becoming more abundant as we get deeper into summer. Cherries and apricots are dwindling as the bounty of peaches, nectarines, and plums rolls in. You can enjoy almost 40 varieties of peaches at the farmers market this season.
Many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are delicious and nutritious eaten raw with minimal to no fussing, but there are also plenty of ways to prepare them in simple, farm-fresh dishes: lightly dressed and tossed into in salads, blended whole into sweet or spicy soups, marinated and grilled for succulent appetizers and entrées, chopped finely into salsas, muddled into cocktails, or poached and spooned over ice cream for an elegant dessert. Summer is also the time to start putting up the harvest, so the bounty can be savored throughout the rest of the year.
As our second annual Summer Celebration approaches, it’s a perfect time to dip into our recipe archives and let the many local chefs who have collaborated with us in the CUESA kitchen provide some inspiration for your menus. For more ideas, be sure to follow CUESA on Pinterest.
And because we know the Fourth of July is not the only day you’ll be firing up the barbecue this summer, be sure to check out our grilling tips, including a handy guide to grillable groceries in the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Here’s to many wonderful summer feasts!
Bites to Tempt the Appetite
Condiments & Preserves
For more summer recipes, visit the CUESA recipe archive.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »