August Produce Guide
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?
Look for colorful heirloom tomatoes and bite-sized sungolds and cherry tomatoes for salads, and sturdy Roma tomatoes for sauces.
Look beyond zucchini for patty pan squashes and crooknecks to sauté.
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 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.
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.
After you've used cucumbers for salads and pickles, try making a cucumber lime agua fresca, or a chilled cucumber soup.
Bell peppers, mini peppers, Japanese shishito peppers, unpredictably spicy padron peppers, jalapeños and serranos. All are good grilled.
Grill large Italian globe eggplants to make the best baba ganoush, or grill Japanese eggplants and serve with a tahini sauce on the side.
This Southern staple is delicious seared or stewed with tomatoes, or turned into crunchy pickles.
Blanch and toss with balsamic, red onions, basil and Parm for a summery salad side.
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?
Tomato Recipe: Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie! Fresh chopped tomatoes, basil and onions, topped with mixture of shredded cheese and mayonnaise, baked in a pie shell.
Tomato Recipe: Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
Bruschetta with tomato and basil! Chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, served on toasted slices of French or Italian bread.
Tomato Recipe: Canned Tomato Salsa
Learn how to can salsa using this delicious salsa recipe for canning, (complete with detailed canning instructions) using fresh tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños!
Summer Squash Recipe: Zucchini, Eggplant, Tomato Gratin
Summer zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes, beautifully presented in a baked casserole gratin. A French tian!Continue to 5 of 16 below.
Summer Squash Recipe: Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry
Quick and easy summer squash green chile stir fry side dish. Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and all made in 1 pot!
Summer Squash Recipe: Zucchini Muffins
The BEST zucchini bread muffins EVER! Moist, sweet, packed with shredded zucchini, walnuts, dried cranberries, and spiced with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Corn Recipe: The Easiest Way to Microwave Corn on the Cob
Cooking corn couldn't be easier! In the microwave, husk on, four minutes. Cut off bottom. Slip off husk. It works!
Corn Recipe: Corn Chowder
Corn chowder made with fresh sweet corn is one of summer's greatest pleasures. This easy recipe uses the corn cobs to infuse even more corn flavor into the milky broth.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
Blackberry Recipe: Blackberry Muffins
The BEST rich, tender, delicious blackberry muffins! These muffins are a family favorite, filled with juicy berries.
Blackberry Recipe: Blackberry Pie
The best blackberry pie ever. No kidding! All butter crust, loads of blackberries, spiced with a little lemon, cinnamon, and almond extract. Yum.
Okra Recipe: Pickled Okra
They're crunchy, not slimy! Lightly spicy homemade pickled okra, with cider vinegar, lemon, garlic, and spices. Easy to make.
Okra Recipe: Seared Okra and Tomatoes
Okra, sliced and quickly seared on high heat, then cooked with fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
Eggplant Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan
Classic for a reason, Italian baked Eggplant Parmesan is comfort food at its best. Breaded eggplant slices are layered with mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, and tomato sauce, and baked until bubbly.
Eggplant Recipe: Baba Ganoush
Classic Baba Ganoush is made by roasting eggplants until soft, scooping out the insides, and mashing with tahini, garlic, and spices. Served with pita or cracker, this eggplant dip is a great snack or party appetizer.
Cucumber Recipe: Cucumber Lime Mint Agua Fresca
Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca! Cool and refreshing agua fresca made with cucumbers, lime, and mint. Perfect way to cool down on a hot day!
Cucumber Recipe: Easy Greek Salad
This easy Greek Salad is made with plum tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Tossed with a lemon and red wine vinegar vinaigrette dressing, it's ready for a summer picnic!