57 Summer Recipes Using Fresh, Local Ingredients

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on July 3, 2019

Aside from the yummy recipes you’re about to read below, there are several benefits of eating seasonal and local— for your health, your local farmers, and your wallet. And it’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is home to some famously delicious fare. We can attribute much of this to the local farmers harvesting the vast array of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. 

With new seasons comes a new selection of delicious produce, and we are so excited about the possibilities which come with the summer season. Look for the summer vegetables below at one of the many farmers markets Thurston County offers and in produce departments for the best flavor (and greatest value) this season.

Try some of these amazing recipes below, each worth the mad dash to the farmers market!

Apricots

Dubbed the “golden globes” of the fruit world, there’s nothing like a fresh, ripe apricot. They’re juicy and taste both sweet and the perfect amount of tart. Their tender texture sets them miles apart from the dried variety, and there are so many creative ways to use them.

https://www.marthastewart.com/978788/lillet-poached-apricots

https://www.marthastewart.com/1115452/perfect-bite-apricots-and-creme-fraiche

https://www.marthastewart.com/1155047/apricot-pistachio-tart

Arugula

Cooking Light:DT: Mains: Fig Salad Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling :Thom Driver , Food Styling: Tina Stamo

If you’re tired of sticking with the same generic mixed spring bag in your routine, we’re here to tell you one thing: arugula! This peppery, spicy green has a much more distinct flavor than your average bunch of spinach, and it’s packed with nutrition, serving a healthy dose of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C! Spice up your salads and more with these recipes.

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cod-shiitake-bacon-crust-arugula-salad

https://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/bacon-arugula-and-egg-wraps

https://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/fig-and-greens-salad

Basil

What’s more enjoyable than the fragrant smell of fresh herbs filling your kitchen? Fresh basil is one of our favorite parts of summer. It’s so refreshing and versatile. Use it to liven up a sauce or salad, or even to freshen up a cocktail or dessert! In fact, we can’t think of too many things that don’t go well with basil! Try some of these fun recipes below.

https://showmetheyummy.com/strawberry-basil-gin-cocktail/

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/best-pesto

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/lime-basil-pie/

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/seared-salmon-with-strawberry-basil-relish/

BERRIES (blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries, strawberries) 

From blackberries to boysenberries and even the marionberry, the Pacific Northwest has remarkable options for summer berries. And though most people probably think of dessert, we’re here to tell you that there are countless ways to utilize our regional berries in sweet and savory meals. These 8 sweet and savory berry recipes are perfect when you want to add a fresh pop to your favorite summertime meals.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/summer-sorbet-recipe-1959612

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/blueberry-coleslaw-recipe2-2108019

https://thebakermama.com/recipes/blueberry-donuts/

https://themillennialcook.com/2016/12/21/berry-glazed-salmon/

https://www.spoonabilities.com/boysenberry/

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/246928/northwest-marionberry-pie/

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/salted-caramel-strawberries

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-salad-with-poppy-seed-dressing

Broccoli

We think this reliable green veggie deserves a reputation revamp. Not only is it available almost year-round, but it’s also packed with vitamins and takes minimal effort to turn it into a real treat — for the whole family. Your kids won’t be complaining about eating their broccoli when they try any of these delicious recipes! 

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/broccoli-caesar

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/broccoli-and-garlic-ricotta-toasts-with-hot-honey

https://lisasdinnertimedish.com/roasted-broccoli-summer-pasta-salad/

Cherries

You know summer is in full bloom when you see the markets filled with our favorite stone fruits! Naturally, cherries are at the top of our list, and there are a number of fun ways to use them. Remember to look for firm, shiny cherries when you’re at the market.

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sour-cherry-pie

https://minimalistbaker.com/cherry-limeade-smoothie/

https://www.imperialsugar.com/recipes/slow-cooker-cherry-chipotle-pulled-pork-with-cilantro-lime-slaw

Cucumber

Cucumbers are about as refreshing and adaptable as it gets. Their subtle flavor, crisp crunch, and high water content make them the perfect addition to almost any dish, from salads to beverages (alcoholic and non), and of course, pickles. 

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/salmon-burgers-with-pickled-cucumbers-and-watercress

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/smashed-cucumber-salad-with-lemon-and-celery-salt

https://www.marthastewart.com/1516242/cucumber-lemonade

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/smoked-salmon-cucumber-boat

Figs

We relish the opportunity to integrate a fresh, ripe fig into whatever we’re cooking however we can. We’re so excited fig season is here, and can’t wait to pair this versatile fruit with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Whether they’re an added element on your summer cheese platter (they pair great with olives and nuts, of course) or used in a delicious salad marinade, they never disappoint.

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/adam-rapoports-fig-caprese

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/gorgonzola-fig-and-pancetta-pizza

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/raspberry-and-fig-cake

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/small-batch-fig-jam

Green Beans

Oh snap! Green beans add a great pop of color and texture to our summer pastas, salads and sides…seemingly everything. They also provide a healthy punch of vitamin c, fiber, and potassium. If you can resist making it home from the market without biting into your bounty, try one of these delicious recipes below. 

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/garlic-caper-string-beans-recipe-2108100

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemony-green-bean-pasta-salad

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sauted-green-beans-pears

Green Onions  

Whether you call them green onions or scallions, they’re impossible not to love. And though they’re meant to be an accent to your recipes rather than the main attraction, their fragrant flavor can really make or break a recipe. You wouldn’t make a baked potato without them, would you?

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/barbecue-stuffed-potatoes

https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/grilled-green-onions-165576

https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/smoked-cheese-and-green-onion-waffles

https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Bacon-Wrapped-Scallions/

Mint

Nothing cools you down when it’s hot outside like the flavor of mint — whether it’s in your drink, main dish or even dessert. This easy, breezy herb takes many sweet and savory dishes from “just okay” to “out of this world.”

http://imbibemagazine.com/mojito-caballito/

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mint-honeydew-ice

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mint-watermelon-salad/

Peach

When it comes to summertime, a fresh juicy peach is the perfect treat that practically everyone enjoys. From sweet to savory, there are countless ways to enjoy a yummy Washington peach. From the classics like a cobbler or salsa, to the unexpected hits like a peach and mozzarella salad, you can incorporate a peach into almost any craving! Bring the real taste of summer to your table with one of these recipes.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/bacon-peach-and-arugula-sandwiches-recipe-2119977

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-peach-and-mozzarella-salad

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/peaches-and-shaved-fennel-salad-with-red-pepper

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-bourbon-peach

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/summer-fruit-pie

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/grilled-peach-sundaes

Summer Squash

It’s time to step aside, butternut! Summer squash has arrived. The season is in full season, and the versatile squash (zucchini, yellow squash, crookneck, and pattypan) are ready to be eaten.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/herbed-summer-squash-recipe-2108111

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/summer-squash-casserole

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/summer-squash-and-basil-pasta

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/quick-farmers-market-pasta-recipe-1948930

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/grilled-ratatouille-recipe-2103515

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/zucchini-bread-with-lemon-honey-butter-2009427

Tomatoes

Last but certainly not least, we’re talking about fresh summer tomatoes, and we advise you to take advantage of them all summer long. Whether you’re tossing them in a salad, or flipping them on the grill, be sure to make the most of this fleeting fruit. Summer is the time for fresh tomatoes, and we’re taking advantage of them all season long.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/stuffed-tomatoes-recipe-1912619

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/heirloom-tomato-pie-recipe-1973826

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/summer-gazpacho

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