Summer is officially here and it’s time to enjoy some summer vegetables for all those nights of al fresco dining. Luckily, there’s no shortage of veggies to enjoy or ways to prepare them. Below, I’ve rounded up seven of my favorite summer vegetables and a few tips on how to make the most of each.
Few things beat slicing into a fresh heirloom tomato in summer. In fact, a vine-fresh tomato might be the ultimate summer vegetable. Heirloom tomatoes come in many colors and varieties, each having a different flavor. I like the purple varieties that are more subtle, sweet and smoky. Slice some up and serve with mozzarella, balsamic, salt and pepper for a quick summer salad. Better yet, put them on top of everything.
We grow poblanos in our garden because they’re versatile and hearty. The large, green pepper can add a little spice to your summer salad or can be stuffed for dinner with a kick. My favorite thing to do is put a few on the grill and blister the outside. Then, simply chop them up and serve with a dip or hummus. When it comes to roasted summer vegetables, poblanos should be at the top of your list.
Bell peppers are a summer staple in our home and they should be in yours, too. They’re near perfect for snacking on dips or hummus if you need a crisp and refreshing veggie to dip with. By the way, I love this dip tray so everyone can have their favorite dips. We also love stuffing them with rice, beans and cheese for a classic summer meal. Different colored bell peppers can also make a summer vegetable salad look incredible if you’re entertaining family for a socially distant picnic.
Remember what I said about tomatoes being the ultimate summer vegetable earlier? Scratch that. There’s nothing like a pile of fresh sweet corn for a summer barbecue. You can do so many things with corn: The classic boil, on the cob with these corn holders, grilling, shaving it into a salad, etc. One pro tip is applying some butter to your ear of corn with a piece of bread then sprinkling Old Bay seasoning on it. The Old Bay will give the otherwise sweet corn a bit of bite and spice.
I vividly remember picking and preparing fresh green beans with my grandmother each summer in her garden, and I’d encourage you to grow some of your own or find some at a local farmer’s market. They’re so sweet and crisp without any prep work, but you can steam or give them a quick boil to soften them up. Try a green bean and almond salad with a touch of mayo for something new.
So, kick back, mix a drink or two and enjoy your summer meals with these tasty vegetables. Need some meal inspiration? Check out these delicious recipes for summer entertaining. I also mentioned a couple of products above to help you make the most of your summer vegetable adventure, and all can be found on Rakuten. But you have to be a member to take advantage of the Cash Back. It’s fast, free and easy to join Rakuten, so what’re you waiting for?