Ah, August. The month of weeklong vacations, beach barbecues, the stillest heat there ever was, and the last few weeks of summer freedom. Luckily, the winding down of summer doesn’t have to mean the winding down of vegetable season, and plenty of our July favorites–corn, cukes, and tomatoes–are still widely available.
Here, we add to our list of seasonal summer vegetables to bring you some of the later bloomers—these vegetables are all available in the second half of summer, even continuing into fall. We’ve also shared some of our favorite ways to cook them, as well as yummy recipes that highlight these delicious summer vegetables.
Gorgeous Seasonal Produce for August
Known for their distinct pale yellow hue, wax beans have a sweet, nutty, mild flavor. Prepare them as you would regular green beans—blanching is a great option to keep the beans crisp and fresh, or try roasting them en papillote (French for “in parchment”) for a deeper flavor.
Try: Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Wax Beans & Red Quinoa en Papillote with Shallot Butter, Barley-Wax Bean Salad with Golden Beets & Heirloom Cucumbers
Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas, like snow peas, are classified as mangetout, or French for “eat all.” This refers to the edibility of the shell of the pea, unlike the English peas that have a tougher, more fibrous shell. Sugar snap peas add a crunch and a freshness to any summer dish—try sautéing them with shiitake mushrooms for a vibrant side to any meat or fish.
Try: Poached Salmon with Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas & Red Rice
Radishes are generally classified as either ‘spring/summer’ or ‘winter’ radishes, depending on when they’re harvested. Summer radishes are most commonly thought of as the small, round European radishes that are best eaten raw or lightly cooked—crisp and peppery, these roots add a clean bite to summer favorites like our seared chicken paillard.
Try: Summer Corn & Vegetable Chowder, Chicken Paillards topped with Endive, Radishes & Haricots Verts
Summer squashes include crookneck, patty pan, and other heirloom varieties, ranging in color from yellow and orange to deep greens. You can also eat the squash blossoms, the beautiful orange flowers available only in the summer months; these have a delicate flavor that’s complemented wonderfully by brown butter, as in our gorgeous gnocchi dish.
Try: Fresh Gnocchi with Squash Blossoms and Lemon Brown Butter, Stuffed Squash with Caesar Chicory Salad
The tendrils and leaves of the traditional garden pea plant, pea shoots are harvested just a few weeks after sprouting, when they’re still tender and bursting with the flavor of fresh peas. Pea shoots make a great base for salads, and are delicious in sandwiches, pastas, and even as a substitute for basil in pesto. For an Asian twist, try them sautéed in garlic, as is often done in Chinese restaurants.
Try: Baked Quinoa “Falafel” with Radish & Pea Shoot Salad
Though many of us are only familiar with deep purple eggplants, they actually get their name from a white, egg-shaped variety. You can also find green and purple- white striped eggplants, which are sometimes referred to as “graffiti” eggplants. Be sure to check out the Japanese and Chinese varieties, which are in season now, too—skinnier than globe eggplants, these are a little firmer and the best type for grilling.
Try: Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Eggplant, Eggplant Rollatini with Lemony Ricotta & Garlic Bread