June 21 is the first official day of summer, which means we’re squarely in “in-season” season. The farmers’ markets will soon be bursting with produce. What’s more evocative of summer than strawberries? Celebrated each June 14, is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. Either on a shortcake biscuit or on a sponge cake, strawberry shortcake is an easy and delicious summertime dessert! Strawberries are sliced, mixed with sugar then allowed to sit about an hour until they have surrendered a great deal of their juices. The shortcakes are then split and the bottom is covered with a layer of the strawberries, juice and whipped cream. The top is then put back on and more strawberries, juice and whipped cream are added to finish it off. Make a strawberry shortcake and ENJOY!
In early summer you can get nice, thick asparagus spears, which provide more snap and crunch than the thin ones. While some of the earliest chubbier varieties may start appearing in the states in the spring, they should be more nationally available this month. You get a mix of texture with the thicker ones. They will be tender on the outside and almost raw in the center when cooked. Add asparagus to summer salads for an extra crunch.
They’re fine frozen, but there’s nothing more delightful than fresh spring and summer peas. Take advantage of fresh peas at their peak. They’ll be at their best at the end of June, and you’ll know the good batches by their bright green pods.
This month you’ll start to see the juicy fruits hitting grocery store shelves, and June is one of best months to get them. Toss them in salads and summer cocktails or make some delicious peach cobbler.
Surprisingly, beets aren’t just for winter; they’re tasty in summer, too. In the summer beets are fresh and they have a totally different texture. They have a really earthy taste and a bit of sweetness. Try mixing summer beets into your coleslaw for an extra kick.
Green garlic and spring garlic are in season in June. Modern science has shown that garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic, albeit broad-spectrum rather than targeted. The bacteria in the body does not appear to evolve resistance to the garlic as they do to many modern pharmaceutical antibiotics. This means that its positive health benefits can continue over time rather than helping to breed antibiotic resistant “superbugs”. Garlic is brilliant when whole grilled, or mince it and use it as you would garlic cloves or leeks, where it will impart a slightly milder, rounder flavor.