With June comes the tail end of spring and the the start of the glorious bountiful summer produce season.
What a month for fruit! Strawberries starting coming in a month ago, and now they are joined by cherries, apricots, and blueberries. It’s the season for tropical fruit as well—pineapples, mangoes, and papaya.
For veggies, we may still find remnants of spring—local asparagus, morels, favas, and sweet peas. The first zucchini of the season arrive, as well as cucumbers, peppers, and even corn. Lettuces abound, along with radishes, carrots, and cauliflower.
What’s your favorite early summer fruit or vegetable?
For me, June is all about the cherries and apricots. Cherries ripen here in Sacramento in late May early June, and usually all at once. If you have a cherry tree, you’ll need buckets!
Just get to the cherries before the birds do. Sweet bing cherries and Rainier cherries start arriving from Washington state in mid June.
If you have a generous friend with a Bleinheim apricot tree, you’re in luck! Bleinheims are the sweetest, most flavorful variety of apricots. But they are delicate, so usually what we get at the market is a sturdier variety.
If the fruit is hard, it won’t be pleasant to eat. Wait until the apricot gives a little before cutting into one.
Scroll down for the recipes!
Eat cherries fresh by the handful, or bake them into a cobbler, pie, or classic French claufoutis custard
Got fresh apricots? Make this easy Apricot Chicken skillet dinner! It's ready in under an hour and makes a great change from your usual weeknight chicken routine. (You can swap in dried apricots, too.)
Mangoes & Papaya
Chop up fresh mango and make a salsa for fish or shrimp tacos, make homemade mango lassi, or toss with a curried chicken salad.
Cut papaya in half, scoop out the seeds, cut into wedges, cut away the peel, and sprinkle with lime and a little salt. Papaya is great for digestion!
Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.