Our roundup of the fruits and vegetables in season in June will help you to find the most delicious things to eat this month!
Well, summer has been a little underwhelming so far – I think I’ve spent more time snuggled under a blanket than lounging in the sunshine. But I have still managed to enjoy some great seasonal fruit and veg over the last few weeks and I’m hoping for more in July.
Of course, this is the time of year when we’re eating more salads than stews and the amount of domestic fruit that’s available goes off the chart. I’m very lucky to have access to some fruit bushes and trees locally as well as a great greengrocer and farm shop, and we also have a Pick Your Own fruit farm nearby as well. I’m trying to get hold of as much sweet and ripe fruit as possible right now so that I can preserve it in jams and in my freezer.
Hopefully my frozen and preserved fruit will be a reminder of summer in the cold and short days of autumn and winter.
Just a reminder: I don’t believe that you need to stick strictly to seasonal eating. After all, the winter months could feel very dreary without imported fruit and veg to liven up the weekly meal plan. But I do firmly believe that seasonal eating helps to make meal planning more interesting as well as allowing you to take advantage of any gluts or bargain prices that you might come across.
So here are just some of the vegetables and fruit in season in July. Keep an eye out for these at your local markets, greengrocers and farm shops:
A lot of fruit is better grown overseas or can’t be grown in the UK at all – think juicy mangoes, tropical pineapples or Spanish oranges. But there are some fruits which I think taste better right here in the UK, and cherries are definitely one of those. Yes, you can get hold of imported cherries outside of the UK season, but I reckon that a juicy UK cherry, in season, is one of the most delicious fruits you can eat.
It’s a short season, just a few weeks, so make the most of them while you can. By all means, bake your cherries into a cherry pie or a clafoutis, or turn them into a fabulous sweet jam. But make sure that you take the opportunity to savour cherries just as they come, fridge cold and perfectly ripe on a (hopefully!) hot summer’s day.
Courgettes are surely the scourge of many an allotmenteer. Turn your back on them for a moment and suddenly you either have a glut on your hands or your baby courgettes have grown overnight into a mammoth marrow!
Luckily there are endless ways to use courgettes, from salads, soups and pasta dishes, to chutneys, breads and even cakes. You can turn courgettes into crispy fritters or the flowers can be stuffed with a creamy cheese filling and fried in a delicate batter. And don’t forget that if you do end up with a marrow on your hands, you could try stuffing it with meat sauce or a rice mix for a delicious hearty dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike iceberg lettuce. It’s a good, reliable, crunchy leaf that will sit happily under a burger or inside a sandwich or wrap. Ditto the round or butter lettuce, which is a great soft-leaved option. But there are so many interesting salad leaves with a variety of textures and flavours. Many of them are in season right now so dig in and enjoy the rocket, endives, lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach and more.
Salad leaves are also really easy to grow at home and you don’t need masses of space. A couple of decent sized containers will do, and you’ll be able to grow ‘cut and come again’ salad leaves that will give you enough lettuce to accompany your evening meal for weeks on end. They grow quite quickly so they’re a good way to introduce children to growing your own veg.
When it comes to summer fruits, I love raspberries just as much as strawberries because as well as their delicious sweetness, you get that slightly sharp, almost sour undertone. And with raspberries, you also get two chances to indulge because there’ll be a second season later on the autumn.
Raspberries are gorgeous eaten straight from the cane or out of the fridge, baked into cakes or turned into a raspberry ripple ice cream. You can also turn a single punnet of raspberries into a delicious sauce to stash in your freezer, a precious jar of home-made raspberry jam or even a bottle of raspberry gin or vodka!
Tomatoes are another one of the big flavours of summer. You don’t need hints from me to tell you how to eat tomatoes – they’re great in salads, soups and sandwiches or just eaten alongside a picnic lunch. Tomatoes come in a wide range of sizes and colours, so keep an eye out for any different varieties you can spot.
They’re also one of the vegetables that are pretty easy to grow at home. If you have a sunny spot on a patio, a balcony or even just enough room for a hanging basket, you can grow toms quite successfully. And if you manage to grow enough, you could even use them in pasta sauces, chillis or casseroles.
Other fruit and vegetables in season in July include:
- Broad Beans
- Currants (red, white and black)
- French Beans
Some of these were featured in our in season in June post as well, so take a look there for some ideas on how to use the fruit and veg that you buy this month.
The bounty of fruit and veg will continue into August, so check back next month for more ideas for your seasonal fruit and veg!