Summer produce to grab before it’s gone

Food lovers wait all year for fresh summer produce, but the season’s bounty won’t last for much longer. When summer finally disappears, all the fresh, summer produce food lovers look forward to all year will go with it. Here are some fruits and vegetables to grab before they are gone, and some simple preparations to make them shine.

Corn
In the United States, corn has always been a staple of summer dinners and cookouts. While corn season typically lasts from mid-May through mid-October, it reaches its peak toward the end of the summer. A good source of vitamins A, B3 and C, as well as fiber, corn is a healthy addition to any meal.  Try it sprinkled onto salads or as a fresh add-in to cornbread. Corn ice cream has also been cropping up in ice cream shops throughout the city. For purists, simply boil and cover in butter and salt for a bite of late summer perfection.

Cantaloupe
Melon and summer go hand in hand, and most of us probably have fond memories of devouring gigantic slices of watermelon on a hot day.  Instead, consider its less famous cousin, the cantaloupe. While mainly in season between June and August, there is still time to catch the end of this orange melon’s season. After picking out the perfect one at the grocery store or Greenmarket (it should be heavy for its size), toss it into fruit salads, puree it into a smoothie or freeze it into ice pops. For an international twist, wrap slices of cantaloupe in Italian prosciutto. The sweet and salty combination is perfect as an appetizer.

Tomatoes
A perfect summer tomato is the essence of summer. With their season lasting through September, there are still a few weeks to dream up ways to serve this versatile fruit. When roasted or grilled, they make an excellent foundation for soups and sauces. When raw, tomatoes shine in salads, like in the following recipe for Caprese salad with burrata.

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Caprese salad

Ingredients 

8 oz. of burrata cheese (room temperature)

1 pint of cherry tomatoes (as fresh as possible)

Olive oil

Flaky sea salt

2-3 leaves of fresh basil

Preparation

  1. Place the entire burrata ball in the center of a serving plate. Meanwhile, halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes depending on their size, and arrange around the burrata.
  2. Tear or chop the basil and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the burrata and tomatoes and sprinkle with the sea salt.
  4. Serve immediately on its own, or with crostini.

(Note: If making in advance, the salad can be held for several hours in the fridge. Omit the salt until you are ready to eat, and take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving so it can get to room temperature.)

Email Nikki Link at [email protected]

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