In the summer, nearly everything comes into full bloom: flowers, fruits, kids. It's the season of play. And seasonal fruits and vegetables, inexpensive and at the peak of flavor, make it easy to eat as well.
Fruits are ripe and luscious. Strawberries, blueberries, and other berries make their brief appearance at their freshest, cherries are red and sweet, grapes are in, and every kind of melon is sweet and juicy: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon. In some markets, fresh apricots are available; sometimes, figs, peaches and plums are ripe. For citrus fruits, Valencia oranges are at their peak.
Summer vegetables are a joy to behold. Cucumbers, eggplant, green snap beans, fresh lima beans, and lettuces of all varieties are in season. If you like okra, now is the time to find it fresh. Peppers in all colors, green and yellow and red, are available. Summer squash is in. So are red ripe tomatoes, and, that most summery of treats, corn on the cob. Summer vegetables reach their peak of flavor and nutrition, and become more affordable, at the same time.
As always, the foundation of the Food Guide Pyramid, the Breads, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group, is available. So are the Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group, and the Meat Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group. If you fish in the summer, you'll bring home a good source of lowfat protein.Our recipes take advantage of summertime bargains. When tomatoes are fresh and inexpensive, try Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes and Homemade Salsa. When fruit is ripe, our Quick Summer Fruit Shortcake and Fruit Yogurt Shake make good use of them. So does Watermelon Ice. And many others.
Monique Barbear, Tom Douglas, Paul O'Connell, Nick Zakharoff, Lucie Costa, Ronald De Santis, and Damian Martineau
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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1995 and 1999.
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