Storyboard

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Vegetables (& 43 Ways to Use Them)

Summer is the CSA basket’s time to shine. That’s why Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons—a seasonal-cooking bible that made our list of the top five books for all things vegetable—considers summer to be three different micro-seasons rolled into one. In that vein, I present to you a guide to summer vegetable cooking (or no-cooking) that’s broken down into early, mid, and late, using the vegetables in McFadden’s iconic cookbook as examples.

Avatar - Food52
Curated by
Food52
    • Vegetables
    • Cooking
    • Recipes
    • food news
The Ultimate Guide to Summer Vegetables (& 43 Ways to Use Them)
Continue to read
43 stories in this Storyboard
    Chilled Beet & Mascarpone Soup with Balsamic

    Chilled Beet & Mascarpone Soup with Balsamic

    Author Notes This recipe is featured in the story, 4 Light, Bright Chilled Soups for Sizzling-Hot Summer Days, sponsored by Milk Life. With a base of sweet beets and whole organic milk, no added sugar is necessary in this vibrant, refreshing soup. Aged balsamic brings brightness and acidity, while …

    Beet Kvass

    Beet Kvass

    Author Notes Beet kvass is a fermented drink that tastes slightly sweet, slightly salty, and very earthy. A gorgeous red hue, beet kvass is full of probiotic bacteria, and easier to make than you might imagine. Organic, farm-fresh beets are ideal, as you are relying on the microbes living on the …

    Cherry & Beet Toasts With Ricotta

    Cherry & Beet Toasts With Ricotta

    Author Notes Earthy beets and sweet cherries are an unexpected yet totally smashing duo. These meal-worthy toasts are one of my very favorite ways to enjoy them. A note on the beets. Many different kinds will work: marinated, pickled (as long as they're not too acidic), roasted, or steamed. This is …

    Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata

    Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata

    Author Notes This recipe is lightly adapted from April Bloomfield's "A Girl and Her Greens." If you can't find small carrots for this dish, just roll cut larger ones—I've done this successfully a few times. This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as economics …

    Carrot Ice Cream

    Carrot Ice Cream

    Author Notes Carrots usually show up in savory situations, but their sweet, creamy flavor is great in desserts, too. (Just ask carrot cake.) In this thoroughly modern ice cream, carrots get simmered in a mixture of cream, milk, and brown sugar until they’re fork-tender, then blended into a …

    Celery and Za’atar Tabouli

    Celery and Za’atar Tabouli

    Author Notes I love tabouli and eat it all summer long. I usually make it with cucumbers and tomatoes, but they can get watery and don't travel well. I love the taste of celery, and especially the leaves--green and vegetal and slightly bitter -- I use celery leaves frequently in my cooking. I also …

    Cucumber-Fennel Fizz Cocktail

    Cucumber-Fennel Fizz Cocktail

    Author Notes I originally made this to be served with gin for a cocktail party I threw for a friend's birthday. It's also great without the gin, though; the dash of apple cider vinegar gives it a tangy kick. The frozen blueberries will keep the drink colder longer, adding their sweetness gradually …

    Cucumber and Fennel Salad with a Chinese Vinaigrette

    Cucumber and Fennel Salad with a Chinese Vinaigrette

    Author Notes My business colleague came home from a recent trip to China, and told me the only fresh vegetables she had were cucumbers prepared in a vinaigrette that she guessed had rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and some spicy heat. I was intrigued by her recipe because i thought that raw fennel …

    Grilled Potato and Green Bean Salad

    Grilled Potato and Green Bean Salad

    Author Notes Potato salads usually fall into two camps: cold and mayo-slicked, or warm and vinegary. I have a soft spot for both. But give me a choice, and I’ll go for this feisty, grilled version that's essentially of a hybrid of the two every single time. A long-time fan of mayo marinades (see my …

    New Potato Salad with Crispy Radishes, Fennel & Celery

    New Potato Salad with Crispy Radishes, Fennel & Celery

    Author Notes Delicious as a side for summer BBQs. The crunchiness of the radish, fennel, and celery is lovely against the soft potatoes. Reprinted from "Great Tastes." Copyright © 2017 by Danielle Kosann and Laura Kosann. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson …

    Turnip Burgers

    Turnip Burgers

    Author Notes After seeing a recipe for beet and farro burgers that called for puréeing the roots raw in a food processor, I tried the same method with my C.S.A. turnips. It worked beautifully. Everything—root and greens—goes into the food processor together with herbs and rice, which allows the …

    My Husband's Broccoli-Nut Salad

    My Husband's Broccoli-Nut Salad

    Author Notes Broccoli-nut salad is a Southern potluck staple. Raw broccoli florets are combined with grated carrots, diced red onions, and candied walnuts then tossed with a slightly tangy and sweet dressing. Some folks add bacon bits, others add dried cranberries or raisins, and then there are …

    Fried Cauliflower Po'Boys with Olive “Remoulade”

    Fried Cauliflower Po'Boys with Olive “Remoulade”

    Author Notes This sandwich was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend over coffee. She was telling me about a visit to the recently opened Victoria Bar, and happened to mention the vegan Cauliflower Po'Boy. I couldn't let go of the idea, so realized I had to have one. Unfortunately their …

    Roasted, Spiced, Almond-y Cauliflower

    Roasted, Spiced, Almond-y Cauliflower

    Author Notes Lightly adapted from Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. Her version has whole cumin, coriander and brown mustard seeds. It's a spice mixture that's very adaptable, obviously; my current version is below. Also, if you don't have sliced almonds, substitute some chopped …

    It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad

    It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad

    Author Notes I've been on a quest for a while to create a creamy dressing that my husband would enjoy. He has a strong aversion to the tanginess of sour cream and yogurt, products that are linked with cucumbers in many recipes. So silken tofu and coconut milk became the base for this recipe. —Amber …

    Michel Richard's Glazed & Glistening Haricots Verts

    Michel Richard's Glazed & Glistening Haricots Verts

    Author Notes Yes, you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken (I've used mushroom broth to great effect) or even straight water in a pinch. And since finding dainty haricots verts isn't a sure thing, you can use this technique with whatever variety and size of green beans you find at the …

    Colby Garrelts' Grilled Pork Loin with Green Bean Arugula Salad

    Colby Garrelts' Grilled Pork Loin with Green Bean Arugula Salad

    Author Notes "You get flavors from grilling that you don’t get from roasting. Smokiness, first and foremost. Direct cooking gives a distinct char, and that char adds a lot of taste. You can grill pork loin with charcoal or wood, or gas. Grilling is just really convenient—it’s outside, there’s less …

    Summer Squash Sauce with Pasta

    Summer Squash Sauce with Pasta

    Author Notes Invariably, someone you know will give you a baseball bat-sized squash every summer, or you will purchase summer squash only to find a box of zucchinis on your doorstep the very same afternoon. Using up squash is the primary goal of many a kitchen each summer season. This recipe goes …

    Canal House's Marinated Zucchini

    Canal House's Marinated Zucchini

    Author Notes The summer side you can make whenever you have 15 minutes, and then completely forget about. Because the zucchini is already cooked through and relaxed, the marinade seeps in more quickly and thoroughly than had the order of operations been reversed. The zucchini boats become bright and …

    Thai Summer Yellow Squash Curry

    Thai Summer Yellow Squash Curry

    Author Notes Comforting without the comfort food calories and residual waistline woes, this protein- and fiber-rich curry boasts chickpeas and red lentils, providing a belly-filling meal while leaving you light and bright in the midst of swimsuit season. Taking advantage of a free Sunday evening, I …

    Jim Lahey’s 5-Ingredient Summer Squash Pizza

    Jim Lahey’s 5-Ingredient Summer Squash Pizza

    Author Notes Adapted from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery. —Genius Recipes Watch This Recipe Jim Lahey’s 5-Ingredient Summer Squash Pizza Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes • Cook time 25 minutes • Serves 4 to 8; makes 1 half-sheet or 2 quarter-sheet pizzas 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for fingertips • 1 …

    Blackberry Farm's Zucchini Caesar Salad with Cheese Crisps

    Blackberry Farm's Zucchini Caesar Salad with Cheese Crisps

    Author Notes Adapted slightly from The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm (Clarkson Potter, 2012). —Genius Recipes Serves 6 to 8 Caesar dressing: • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Toscano, Singing Brook, or Ossau-Iraty cheese (1 ounce) • 1 large egg yolk • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard • 1 tablespoon finely grated …

    Grilled Corn and Summer Squash Quesadillas

    Grilled Corn and Summer Squash Quesadillas

    Author Notes I like to build my quesadillas directly in a hot pan, first to get the cheese meltage starting, and also because transferring a fully loaded 'dilla from a work surface to a pan can be spilly and dangerous. If you're more of a build-then-cook type of person, do that! It's a quesadilla. …

    Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa

    Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa

    Author Notes It's summertime, which means All The Things are grilled, lotsa smoke involved, corn and tomatoes everywhere, and chilled rosé. I decided to try using the corn husks for smoking this salmon and it worked perfectly—the smoke is sweet and subtle and to be perfectly honest it smells a …

More stories from Vegetables