Though they’re technically a fruit, tomatoes are treated like a vegetable in the culinary world. Tomatoes are nearly omnipresent too, showing up in everything for cocktails and sauces to salads and sandwiches. A fresh summer tomato is a truly glorious thing, so make sure to incorporate it throughout your menu!
- Seasonality: Year-round (peaks May-October)
- Favorite Varieties: Beefsteak, Heirloom, Roma
- Try Cooking: Avocado cobb salad & bloody marys
Interestingly enough, eggplants are botanically a berry. Eggplants couldn’t be farther away from the other summer superstar, as their hearty, firm texture and mild flavor makes them a fantastic base ingredient. The ever-popular eggplant parmesan is a fantastic entry point into the world of eggplant dishes, so be sure to check out our guide on eggplant parm!
- Seasonality: July-October
- Favorite Varieties: Bianca, Japanese Eggplant, Purple Rain
- Try Cooking: Eggplant parmesan & eggplant burgers
While corn is available year-round, the famous veggie is a real heavy hitter on summer menus. After all, a hometown bbq or backyard picnic is incomplete without some delicious corn on the cob! Cultures worldwide use corn, so there’s a wide history of sweet corn being used in savory and sweet dishes. Get a crash course in corn here.
- Seasonality: Year-round
- Favorite Varieties: Sweet, Dent
- Try Cooking: Grilled street corn crostini & corn on the cob
When the temperature nears triple digits, cucumbers are here to keep you cool. Along with fresh cucumbers, pickles are a integral addition to summertime hamburgers and hot dogs. Other cultures around the world utilize cucumbers to great effect, so be sure to try adding cucumbers to Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches or in any of these cultural favorites.
- Seasonality: Year-round (Peaks May-August)
- Favorite Varieties: Kirby, Persian, English
- Try Cooking: Cucumber banh mi & pepinos con chile y limon
One of the all-time great southern vegetables, okra is seeing a resurgence with the growing popularity of southern food. Renkown for its crisp grassiness, okra can bring body into otherwise light dishes. Use our guide to okra and get started cooking some of these southern favorites.
- Seasonality: July-September
- Favorite Varieties: Clemson, Emerald, King,
- Try Cooking: Fried okra & okra cornbread
Potentially the most prominent summer squash of them all, zucchinis are used in dishes from Los Angeles to Beijing. We love the versatility of zucchini because it can be used in everyday dishes and dishes worthy of a five-star review. Best of all, zucchinis can be used to turn traditionally gluten-heavy into healthy gluten-free ones!
- Seasonality: June-September
- Favorite Varieties: Cocozelle, Fordhook, Gourmet Gold
- Try Cooking: Zucchini noodles & ratatouille