Vida's Favorite Foods to Buy this Month
Finally, all the bounty of the summer growing season is going to start rolling in. Much of the country can expect berries, cucumbers, leafy greens, summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes, corn, and peaches to start popping up in June.
June is the ultimate shoulder season between spring and summer, offering up the last of early spring fruits and vegetables and the beginning of summer’s abundance. Now is the time to grab the last of spring’s favorites before they’re gone. It’s also the perfect time to start indulging on perfectly ripe berries, which fortunately show up week after week, advancing our taste buds through a rainbow of choices. Read on for our favorite farmers markets finds for June.
Yes these juicy, delicious fruits are now in season! Whenever possible, visit a local peach orchard or fruit stand, as many large commercial grocery giants select peaches before they are meant to be plucked from the vine. Whether selecting peaches at an orchard, fruit stand, or supermarket, examine the area around the stem, as it indicates ripeness when picked: the stem cavity should be wide and open rather than narrow and restricted. To select the sweetest peaches, take a look at the peach's base color. The peach's lightest color, regardless of shade (cream, yellow, orange, etc.), should be a warm hue. The best peaches will have no green undertones.
In the summer, local honey is great for sweetening homemade iced tea or whisking into salad dressings. Local honey can be completely unique, too — each batch a slightly different taste of your surrounding fields, flowers, and trees. If your local apiary at your farmers market sells bee pollen, consider yourself lucky; that's also a delicious delicacy.
It's in season right now and once it's gone, it's gone. Rhubarb isn't something you're likely to find for months on end in the supermarket. It's best paired with strawberries and tucked into pies, cobblers, crisps, and galettes; and works well in savory applications, such as chutneys and sauces. Rhubarb jam is a winner, too.
Tomatoes, the good ones
Buying supermarket tomatoes in the summer is criminal. Most farmers grow a wide variety, and heirlooms — with their funky shapes, profiles, and varying tastes, from acidic to sweet — are an abundant guarantee of late summer's harvest. You simply cannot have enough tomatoes during the season. If we are lucky, we have them for weeks on end and by the time they're done, we've exhausted our options — eating our share of them raw and roasted, plus making jams, sauce, and freezing some, too.
Berries come into season right about mid-May to June, depending on your location and climate. California-grown strawberries are available in grocery stores across the country starting in early May, but it’s best to purchase locally grown berries, which are sweetest immediately after harvesting and rarely require additional sweeteners. Hot temperatures in spring mean earlier berries.
Artichokes are the flowers that bloom from tall perennial plants that come into season late spring through early summer. They may be harvested early and eaten whole as baby artichokes, or left on the stalks to mature into fatter globes that need some cleaning. As artichokes grow, they develop spikes on their leave tips and the inner core, or heart, becomes thickly covered in fine hairs that can be scooped out with a small spoon. Look for artichokes that are compact with thick, fleshy leaves.
Who needs convincing on this one?! Avocado on toast is almost impossible to beat, but it’s also a fantastic addition Mexican meals and fresh green recipes of any kind, really. The avocados you’ll find in stores usually are probably from Mexico, where avocados are in season year-round, but California avocados are in season now, too.