Just call this your official guide to hacking the season’s best produce.
We might be a little biased, but summer has some of the best produce. From local juicy tomatoes to tart cherries from Washington State, your taste buds will thank you for working these peak-season fruits and veggies into your recipes.
These beautiful, big, dark red cherries hit their peak in June and July.
Hack It! No cherry pitter? No problem. Use a chopstick, straw, or skewer to push the pit through the cherry and into a bowl. Making a cherry tart just got so much easier.
2. Dragon Fruit
With its bold color and milky-white inside, you’d think this tropical fruit would have a strong flavor. In fact, they are relatively mild.
Hack It! Use it as a base for a subtly sweet summer smoothie that won’t overpower.
Fact: Moon Drop, Tear Drop, Gum Drop… they aren’t candy: These are the latest and greatest grape varieties.
Hack It! Freeze and toss them in your glass of wine for the perfect ice cube! And you’ll have a sweet snack for later, too.
4. Hybrid Stone Fruit
Plum + Apricot = Plumcot. It’s slightly larger than a plum with more plum flavor. Apricot + Plum = Aprium. A fuzzy, juicy apricot-like fruit with more apricot flavor than plum.
Hack It! To pit your stone fruits, cut them like you would an avocado: Slice them with a serrated knife along the pit, remove the pit, and slice into thin wedges for snacks or salads.
Curve ball: Eggplants are actually a fruit.
Hack It! Grill them and use them in place of a burger patty. Simply, brush both sides with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill on both sides for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!
6. Heirloom Tomatoes
The huge heirloom tomatoes from Hepworth are grown from “old” seeds, which mean they taste the same every time.
Hack It! Make a Greek-style heirloom caprese with fresh mint, feta, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Did you know? The same oil compound that makes radishes taste spicy is found in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi.
Hack It! For a refreshing appetizer, serve them with whipped butter and sea salt.
They’re a classic for all the right reasons: full of good-for-you fat and great in salads and on burgers, hot dogs, and all of your grilling classics.
Hack It! Make a simple avocado dressing for your salads with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Peas, as you know them, are actually seeds contained inside the pod.
Hack It! Add slices of radish and chopped Black Dirt carrots with pea shoots and crunchy, local peas for the easiest, freshest summer salad ever. Top with your avocado dressing and enjoy!
10. Sugar Kiss Melons
You haven’t had melon until you’ve tried the ultra-sweet Sugar Kiss variety.
Hack It! Place our pre-cut melon on a cookie sheet that’s line with parchment paper. Poke each cube with a popsicle stick and freeze overnight. There you go! Instant “popsicles.”
11. Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Brussels look like tiny cabbages because that’s what they are! Tiny edible sprouts from the cabbage family.
Hack It! Add raw Brussels to a salad for some crunch, or sauté it simply with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest and juice for a BBQ side.
Carrots are 88% water.
Hack It! Crudité is so much prettier with multi-colored carrots from the Black Dirt region of New York and New Jersey. We suggest eating these beauties raw—if you cook them too long they lose their vibrant colors.
13. Georgia Peaches
For the first time ever, we have the famous juicy peaches from Georgia. To tell if you’re peach is ready to eat, give it a slight squeeze. If there’s a little give it might need another day or so to ripen.
Hack It! Perfectly sweet with just a hint of tartness, toss them on the grill for a few minutes and add a scoop of ice cream for the best summer dessert ever.
Honorable Mention: Local Farm Share Boxes from Hepworth and Lancaster Farms
Nothing beats the surprise of opening a boxful of local, in-season produce. You can expect everything from spicy radishes to crunchy lettuce, and even farm-fresh eggs and freshly made cow, goat, or sheep cheese. No subscription necessary.