When delectable, seasonal produce begins to pile up in the stalls at the farmer's market or the local co-op, use these quick tips for inspiration. These fast fixes range from light and healthy to rich, and, at times, even unconventional.
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Laurel Fan - Creative Commons - Redistribute with Attribution
It's hard to imagine a summer meal or barbecue party without sweet corn being on the menu. Steamed, grilled, or boiled, corn is a reliably enjoyable way to savor summer flavor. For a change of pace, slice the kernels off a cooked cob of corn and toss it into a vegetable salad. Corn kernels are wonderful sautéed and served with a sprinkling of salt and fresh, chopped herbs. Never underestimate the power of fresh, seasonal corn added to a dish; it has a remarkably summery flavor that can't be replicated by the frozen or canned version.
Flickr user norwichnuts
Nothing compares to the garden fresh, sunshiny flavor of a just-picked tomato. Simplicity is the best way to enjoy summer's most popular fruit. A few, thick slices on a plate are the best way to enjoy the complex sweetness of tomatoes, unadulterated. For a slightly less acidic option, serve the tomatoes, tartine style, or in a salad. Sundried tomatoes are also a scrumptious choice for when you can't keep up with how fast the garden is producing, and the produce an unexpected burst of flavor when added to egg dishes.
Flickr user dailyfood
Zucchini, and other varieties of squash, is one of summer's most prolific producers. It can be shredded and mixed into breads and muffins, cooked into quiche, or fried into delicately flavored fritters. Finely sliced or chopped pieces of raw zucchini make an excellent addition to summer salads, and larger cuts of cooked squash taste delicious in vegetable medleys.
Flickr user ccharmon
One of summer's overlooked vegetables is the fresh bean. They're easy to raise, and a small bush grows quite a few beans. Snapped fresh from the garden, they taste wonderful lightly steamed. A touch of butter and a sprinkle of lemon zest will perk up sautéed green beans, elevating them from a simple side dish to simply amazing. Add roasted beans to salads and fresh, cut beans to soups for delectable summer flavor.
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