In the Kitchen
I'm kicking off a monthly series where I highlight what's in season, and then throughout the month, I'm going to try to feature recipes for those delicious ingredients.
When we have access to fruits, veg, and other product year-round, it is easy to forget that not everything grows all year long. Focusing on what is in season means that what you choose at even your grocery store is more likely to come from a local source, traveling less, and naturally being fresher.
Of course, you can visit your local farmstands or subscribe to a CSA. That will definitely have you eating seasonally. I'm taking it a step further. Wherever I am, I'm being more intentional about making seasonal. This goes for grocery shopping and eating out.
I realize you may have access to different products depending on where you live. What I'm sharing here is what's in season here in New England, but I'd love to hear what's happening in your part of the world. Let's get started.
Lettuce & Greens
June is the perfect time to get into salads and use greens in your cooking. Greens love the chillier nights and don't like the hot weather. I know we all like to eat salads during the summer, but now is the time to dig in.
Besides different types of lettuce, spinach also is great this time of year, and depending on how chilly the days and nights have been cabbage also starts to ripen in June.
Asparagus & Peas
When I think of spring, veggies, asparagus, and peas definitely come to mind. It is the best time of year to eat these tender vegetables. If you grow your peas, did you know they freeze well? Harvest them, blanch them, and freeze them. You will be glad you did.
Beets & Carrots
You will find beets & carrots starting to come into their own during June. But they are the gift that keeps giving. If you plant beets and carrots later in the summer, you can also enjoy them during the fall and winter.
Again, they prefer the colder weather rather than the hot days of summer. Enjoy these sweet veggies now and again later in the year.
Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cherries
Sure, you can buy strawberries and blueberries during the year, but now is the time when you are going to get the sweetest and ripest berries. Strawberries come first in May and finish in June. Some blueberries start ripening at the end of June but mostly into July.
And then there are the cherries. Although we don't have a lot of local cherry growers in New England, this is the time to get those sweet delicacies. If you are interested in strawberries and cherries that are locally grown, you may get the best at farms that have pick your own. Here are some farms featured in Yankee Magazine that have pick your own.
Wild Blueberry & Greek Yogurt Muffins - wild blueberries from Maine are delicious and available usually starting in July, but did you know you can get them frozen? Check out your market.
Herbs are one of the first things I learned to grow. Now I have an herb garden that is teaming with fresh sage, chives, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Chives come up first, and I always get excited when I see them start to sprout from my plant, which is literally ten years old!
By June, some herbs have started to flower. In particular, sage, thyme, and the chives. You aren't supposed to let them flower, but I do because they drop their seeds and keep making more plants!
If you plant herbs, your annual plants, like parsley and basil, may start to take off depending on where you put them. Basil is kind of sensitive to cold nights, so that might not be readily available, but parsley is pretty hardy.
That should get you started thinking about what to purchase, order, and buy. Come back often to this page because I'll be adding recipes under each vegetable.