The Fruits and Vegetables in Season in June and How to Prepare Them
Words Jennifer Geddes
When the weather finally turns balmy in June, it’s time to reap your reward: grocery stores and farmers’ markets piled high with super delicious fruits and vegetables. Some would say June actually rivals August for the widest array of colorful and healthy produce, which means it can be hard to shop—because everything looks so good.
To help you on your journey, take a look at our list of what’s fresh, along with smart tips, useful tools and yummy recipes for making the most of June’s bounty.
So small (usually) yet so mighty. From bunches of basil to bundles of thyme to sprigs of mint – herbs are an easy way to add brightness, depth, and interest to virtually any dish. Chop up a mix of fresh herbs (we like thyme, mint and oregano) to add to green or grain salads, swirl the same mix in plain Greek yogurt for an easy dip or topping for potatoes, or make a homemade pesto. But don’t limit herbs to just food; we like to incorporate them into our summer cocktails, too. Got a whole bunch of herbs? Our Herb and Kale Stripping Comb quickly separates leaves from multiple stems at one time.
Blueberries and Cherries
Blueberries and cherries abound this time of year, and while they’re perfect for straight-up snacking, they’re also equally delicious as a pop of tart-sweetness in pancakes (like these yogurt blueberry ones), atop overnight oats (our favorite combination: one part oats and one part coconut milk, put in airtight container and pop it in the fridge before bed), or starring in a not-so-humble crumble or crisp. Use a pitter for big cherries like Bings, smaller cherries like Ranier and everything in between.
Did you know there are two types of cucumbers: slicing and pickling? This time of year, your local CSA or farmer’s market should have several varieties of each including Kirby, Armenian, Persian, hothouse/English and even lemon. Sure, cucumbers are great in salads (peeled and sliced), but you can also quick pickle ‘em as a side for your next barbeque or, better yet, your next sandwich.
Juicy fresh peaches taste of sunshine and honey, making them an easy go-to for pies, cobblers, baby purees or simply eating out of hand. When it gets too hot to bake in June, slice up peaches for a salad with spinach, red onion, cubed feta and toasted pecans. And pick up a peach pitter to make fast work of those sometimes tough-to-tug stones inside this fuzzy fruit.
These plump ovals the shade of sunset offer a heady aroma that just might make you swoon. Use a mango slicer to prep your haul and then toss the diced fruit with red pepper, scallions, lime juice and a bit of jalapeño for a zippy salsa that’s excellent atop fish. Mangos are also worthy stars in smoothies, frozen desserts and on skewers with shrimp for kebabs.
June is practically synonymous with this fragrant ruby red fruit. Serve strawberries with whipped cream and homemade shortcakes, layer them with jam in a glistening tart or slice them over your morning cereal or cup of yogurt. Easy to prep, especially when you use a nifty huller, be sure to stock up on strawberries when they hit the market and freeze some extras.
A cool creamy avocado is a thing of beauty and oh-so-versatile too. Use this scoop and smash tool for your favorite guacamole but know that this dark green beauty can go far beyond dip. Try swapping avocados for butter or even eggs in certain baking recipes, grilling halves to top your burgers and salads or tossing cubes with lump crab, grapefruit sections, chives and lemon juice for the most decadent appetizer or light lunch you’ll have all season.
Bundles of Swiss chard may be bright green or rainbow-hued (think orange-y red, pink and yellow). Dislodge sand and dirt with a quick pass through a glass salad spinner and then try this nutritional leafy green in a frittata, as a pizza topping or sautéed with garlic, golden raisins or currants and toasted pine nuts. Finish the dish with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and serve it with grilled chicken.
Sugar Snap Peas
They’re sweet, they snap, and they’re a treat. Although you can munch them raw or cooked, you will need to remove the string that runs along their side—or else you’ll unintentionally floss with each bite. Sugar snaps are a welcome addition to chopped salads, lightly steamed and tossed with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs and even as a vehicle for the herbed yogurt dip you’re making.
It’s prime time to bake with rhubarb. Try making a pie filling or rhubarb preserves by cooking it down. Rhubarb is intensely tart, so don’t forget to add sugar to offset it. Or try our deliciously refreshing rhubarb-strawberry mocktail to cool down.