Fruit and Vegetable Celebration

Staff Writer
Taking a look at the seasonal fruits and vegetables at their peak during June and July
Mixed Vegetables
Corbis/Angela Drury
Mixed Vegetables

In June and July, since there are so many fruits and vegetables in season, one has to take advantage of the fresh bounty available as many ingredients reach their peak of nutritional content and flavor.

There is a bit of confusion over what constitutes a fruit versus a vegetable; some of these may completely surprise you. In fact, some of your favorite vegetables may be fruits. For instance, tomatoes are fruits, even though this is a constant source of culinary disagreement. Chile peppers and avocados are also both fruits. What differentiates a fruit from a vegetable? Fruits house their seeds internally (except for strawberries) while true vegetables have no real pit.

Speaking of focusing more on fruits and vegetables, there are a couple of trends which are growing in our dining culture, particularly in how we examine the way we shop, cook, and how it affects our planet. Here are some culinary trends which many professional chefs respond to as the demand increases.

Meatless Mondays

This is a trend that encourages people to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week (usually on Mondays) and has found such followers as Mario Batali. There is also increasing interest in reducing the amount of protein on the center of the plate in favor of more vegetables and grains instead.

Locally Grown Products

Hence the “locavore” terminology and the effort to shop more in farmers' markets in place of giant supermarket chains. It’s clear there is traction for a fruit and vegetable revolution of sorts.

June and July Peak Vegetables and Fruits

All berries; all melons; cherries; corn; tomatoes (late July); bell peppers; chile peppers; endive; peaches; peas; sugar snap peas; tomatillos; radishes; okra; plums; nectarines; cucumbers; beets; garlic.

Click here for the Summer Eggplant recipe.

Click here for the Antipasto Salsa recipe.