I’m so excited for summer. I mean, sooo excited. After what feels like six months of winter, I’m ready to cook every meal outside and stuff myself with enough local fruit to make me fruity (or, you know, simply further accentuate my fruitiness).
I’m so charged for summertime that I sent an email to my food friends asking them to tell me about all the summer foods they want to eat pronto. These friends are restauranteurs, authors, chefs, and the very sweetest for sharing in the enthusiasm for the very best season.
8 Food Friends Share Their Favorite Summer Foods
“Cherries! Made into Cherry Crumb Pie. I’m including a recipe in my upcoming cookbook!”
Joanne Chang is chef and owner of Flour Bakery; a James Beard award winner; and author of five cookbooks, including the forthcoming Pastry Love (Fall 2019).
“Sweet corn is what comes to mind when I think of summer. My dad would always pick up fresh sweet corn from a local family farm down the road from where I grew up and our family would eat it out on our porch pretty much every summer night! Grilled, steamed, or raw in salads… I can’t get enough! I’m really loving the pineapple and corn salsa on my menu right now, as we get to the warmer months it’s super light, bright and refreshing!”
Rebecca Arnold is chef and owner of Whole Heart Provisions. You can try her corn salad on the restaurant’s menu.
“We’re entering into berry season, my favorite fruit season of all mostly because they can be included in so many savory AND sweet dishes. On top of that, I’m allergic to raw stone fruits so the fall is a more challenging fruit-eating season for me. I plan on making spinach salads all summer long with strawberries, fennel, feta and pine nuts and making sure there are healthy helpings of berries on my morning yogurt.”
“Summer is about fruit and I most look forward to is cherries (a couple years back, the entire crop was wiped outby a late frost and the loss gave me a physical ache). I like the sweet Bings, the sour Montmorency ones, and especially the fragile, hard-to-transport Queen Anne variety. I eat them raw, I bake them into pies and clafoutis, and I make jam and butter for later in the season. My very favorite cherry jam combines tart cherries with maple sugar and a splash of bourbon. The booze burns off, so all you’re left with is a spread that is sweet, tangy, and has an element of earthiness from the whiskey. It’s heaven.”
“Tomatoes! I cannot wait to get my hands on some sweet, juicy tomatoes. I don’t think there’s anything better than a plate of perfectly ripe tomatoes with flake salt and a heavy drizzle of olive oil, and a glass of rosé.”
Sherrie Castellano is a chef, food writer, blogger, and nutritionist. Her popular plant-based dinner series, Of All The Places I Call Home, in St. Louis, Missouri is always sold-out. Get on the June list.
“Tomatoes: When the weather gets hot, tomatoes (ripe, juicy ones) are among the things I look forward to most. But that wasn’t always the case. As a kid, my Puerto Rican family put our tomatoes in the fridge. In the fridge! I imagine they had to in order to keep them alive in subtropical heat. The result, you already know: mushy, watery, tasteless, no-longer red vegetable-fruit. I avoided the soggy tomatoes my family served me, or buried them in enough sauce so that they disappeared. Imagine my surprise when I ate my first locally grown, vine-ripened tomato working at a breakfast restaurant in Atlanta, where I grew up. There, I had a thick, perfect slice of tomato, dusted with salt and pepper, slapped on a buttermilk biscuit. Okay and maybe there was bacon. Still, I had no idea what a tomato tasted like before that moment; sweet, tangy, earthy, and deeply satisfying. Now, I cherish tomato season, because it’s full of possibilities. And I never put my tomatoes in the fridge.”
Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. Her work has been featured on NPR, American Public Media, StoryCorps, WNYC, The Splendid Table, PRI’s The World, The Kitchn, and BuzzFeed. Her first cookbook, Coconut and Collards, is available now.
“Peaches. I can’t wait until these beauties come around. I love to grill them and toss with fresh basil from my garden, olive oil, orange blossom water and a touch of honey vinaigrette. Perfect as a salad or top with fresh whipped cream as a fresh dessert.”
Karen Akunowicz is a chef; James Beard award winner; competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef; and cookbook author of Myers+Chang at Home.
“This time of year there are so many ingredients coming in and out of the markets I feel like my answer to this question could change by the hour but currently I’m most looking forward to the first taste of a sun-ripened strawberry. The ones that are ruby tinted from the inside out; sweet, and warm with a subtle tart pucker that immediately has you reaching for the next berry. My favorite way of enjoying strawberries is in the sun straight out of the pint basket I bought them in. Or simply sliced with a splash of cold cream and a drizzle of wild flower honey.”
Well, I cannot wait to eat fresh peaches sliced into salads or layered onto toasts. I also love to make peach pico de gallo to put on everything throughout the week.
Thanks for showing the love to these lovely food ladies! xox
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