Strawberries, corn, and Basil

Hello Summer

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Take Two

With the coming of the Summer Solstice, it is finalllyyyy officially SUMMER!!!! We’ve already kicked off the season with some BBQ, Outdoor Entertaining, and Picnics, but now we’re ready for the farmer’s markets and Summer Escapes.

Summer is one of our favorite seasons at the farmer’s market because everything is so fresh, so bright, so colorful, and so delicious!

But everything looks so good… What are the best things to get this time of year? Check out our Hello Summer: Take One and check out our recommendations below for your guide to everything delicious this time of year.

 

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries are one of our favorite Summer treats. They’re sweet with just the right amount of tart, they’re juicy, colorful, and surprisingly versatile. And we’re definitely not alone in our love of these red berries. Strawberries are so popular we sing songs about them… Yes we are currently humming “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Strawberry Wine” on repeat.

We love our strawberries dipped in Coconut Whipped Cream, on top of a tasty Shortcake, or in a fancy Strawberry Gazpacho. They’re also just delicious all by themselves.

Season’s greetings: Strawberries are at their peak from May through August, making them the perfect Summertime treat!

Hey good lookin’: Look for bright berries that are plump and fragrant. Avoid berries that are too soft and deep red or too green (unless you’re looking for green strawberries that is…)

Keep ’em fresh: Store berries unwashed in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat them. They’ll keep about 3-4 days. Rinse in cold water and pat dry before using.

 

BASIL

The Italians are really onto something with their love of basil. It’s such a great herb that can be used in sauces, salads, purees, marinades, and just for garnish. We love it in Walnut Pesto, but you can use it in all kinds of delicious ways. We’re currently craving this Strawberry Basil Slushy Cocktail and this Summer Pasta Salad.

Season’s greetings: Basil is one of those delicious herbs you can find year-round, but Summer is truly it’s season because it loves the warm weather for exceptional flavor.

Hey good lookin’: In the Summer, look for bright leaves with uniform color. The stems should be crisp and firm, and the smell should be incredibly vibrant and mouth-watering.

Keep ’em fresh: To store, carefully trim the stems of the basil and remove any bad leaves. Stand the bunch upright in a jar with about an inch of cold water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Rinse in cold water and pat dry before using.

 

CORN

Chances are, some of your best memories of Summer involve eating corn on the cobb at a backyard cookout. We may not like all those processed corn products out there these days, but you just can’t beat the deliciousness and healthfulness of some fresh corn in the Summer. It’s great in salads, sautéed, baked goods, desserts, or just fresh off the cobb. Need we say more?

We’re super into this creative with our Rainbow Pizza and in our Avocado Basil Quinoa Bowl.

Season’s greetings: Corn is picked in the Summer and Autumn, but we love the early corn, which is super sweet and delicious.

Hey good lookin’: Look for corn with plump kernels and bright tight husks. Yellow corn should have bigger kernels that are more full flavored, while white corn is smaller and even sweeter. We like to choose both early in the season when the sugars haven’t fully converted to starch.

Keep ’em fresh: Cook your corn as close to when you buy it as possible. We’re talking morning farmer’s market runs before afternoon cookouts. But you can also store ears of corn in the refrigerator (with the husk on) for 1-2 days. Be sure to remove the husk and silks before cooking. Although some people will tell you corn is best when grilled husk-on.