August Produce Guide
Hello August and welcome to month 8 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides!
It’s almost unfair to offer a produce guide for August; it seems like everything’s in season right now, right?
This month’s guide is similar to July’s. As in July, you’ll find summer squash, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, melons and stone fruit. But by August, blueberries aren’t as plentiful—blackberries have taken their place—and tomatoes really come into their own.
By now, if you garden, basil has likely taken over your beds, so it a good time to start making pesto. Cucumbers also tend to grow with wild abandon. Bread and Butter Pickles anyone?
You’ll also see okra, eggplant, green beans, and peppers of all sorts—bell peppers, shishito peppers, and jalapeños.
This month’s bonus vegetable is purslane. Yes, purslane, that weed that takes over sidewalk cracks and garden borders, is the Clark Kent of summer produce. Disguised as a weed, purslane is actually a superfood—anti-inflammatory and high in Omega 3s and vitamins A and C. It’s also deliciously tangy and crisp. Sauté it with garlic and olive oil, or chop it up raw and add it to a salad.
What’s in season in August?
- Tomatoes – Look for colorful heirloom tomatoes and bite-sized sungolds and cherry tomatoes for salads, and sturdy Roma tomatoes for sauces
- Summer squash – Look beyond zucchini for patty pan squashes and crooknecks to sauté
- Melons – Enjoy all the melons—watermelon, honeydew, cantaloup, muskmelon, crenshaw, and Israeli ogen melons. Great for an afternoon snack. Your body will be happier if you eat melons on their own, not with other foods.
- Corn – Corn tastes the sweetest the few hours after it’s picked, because after picking the corn’s sugars start to turn to starch. So find corn at a farm stand or farmers market and prepare it that day.
- Blackberries – Wild blackberries grow along rivers and roadsides all over the states. Find a patch with ripe berries, dress in long sleeves, and get out your bucket!
- Basil and Tarragon – Make basil pesto with Italian sweet basil, include Thai or Vietnamese basil in with spring rolls, add fresh tarragon to corn and chicken dishes,
- Plums and Stone Fruit – If you like plums, you’ll love pluots! Look for these colorful tasty hybrids.
- Cucumbers – After you’ve used cucumbers for salads and pickles, try making a cucumber lime agua fresca, or a chilled cucumber soup
- Peppers – Bell peppers, mini peppers, Japanese shishito peppers, unpredictably spicy padron peppers, jalapeños and serranos. All are good grilled.
- Eggplant – Grill large Italian globe eggplants to make the best baba ganoush, or grill Japanese eggplants and serve with a tahini sauce on the side
- Okra – This Southern staple is delicious seared or stewed with tomatoes, or turned into crunchy pickles
- Green Beans – Blanch and toss with balsamic, red onions, basil and Parm for a summery salad side
- Purslane – Sauté purslane with olive oil, onions, and garlic, chop it up and put in a salad, or my favorite, grill it and serve as a side to pork.
Scroll down for more recipe ideas. What are your summer favorites?