The tomatoes aren’t mealy. The corn is actually sweet. Our local farmer’s market is teeming with some of the best stuff around. Read on for what’s ripe, what you should be stocking up on, and tips and tools for preparing it.
It’s finally tomato time, which means we’ll be consuming enough tomatoes this month to hold us over for the entire year. Out of season tomatoes are often bland and grainy, but not the ones you’ll find in August. Whether it’s beefsteak, plum, heirloom, cherry or grape, tomatoes this time of year are packed with flavor, intense color and only need a little bit of salt when eating them on their own. You can also catch us eating them sliced on bread with a layer of mayonnaise or tossing them with olive oil, mozzarella and basil for an easy caprese salad.
Corn is another August gamechanger. The kernels are sweet and juicy, and only need some butter and salt. If the grill is hot, stick the ears right on (with the husks). If you’re indoors, boil the corn without the husks for 4-5 minutes. It’s great straight off the cob or peeled and tossed in a salad, too.
Cantaloupe is at its peak this time of year. It’s juicy (can you take the hint? August is a good month!), fragrant and much more refreshing than the melon you’ll find the rest of the year. We can eat cantaloupe cut up on its own, paired with salty proscuitto, balled for a nicer presentation or even sliced for a salad, like how how our blogger-friend Bijouxs does it.
It’s hard not to finish a carton of blueberries in one sitting, let alone save them for pies or muffins, but if your farmer’s market has lots of fresh blueberries, you should stock up! Blueberries are sweeter in August and a bit smaller, but don’t be leery of the little ones – it just means they’re wild blueberries and totally natural.
Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums are ripe and ready for you now. Look (and smell) for fragrant peaches and be careful when handling them because they bruise easily. Stone fruits are great for pies, sliced in salads or on toast, or just plain on their own.
And don’t worry about overstocking on August fruits and vegetables, you can always quick-pickle your summer produce to enjoy it in the cooler months.