We can finally welcome back cherries. But also zucchini, cucumbers, and very soon eggplant and peppers. June brings summer with its load of good produce: the new season is coming and so are the new fruit and vegetable offerings, which still reserves a space for a few weeks for green beans, peas and asparagus. Here’s what to buy at the market in June.
Fruit in season in June: cherries and apricots
Cherries are an irresistible temptation that wins everyone over, even those who are not fruit lovers. Stars of the month, they can be eaten as a snack or at the end of the meal, one after the other. If you got a lot of them, you can also make jams that keep all year round, perfect for baking. First of all, you need to learn to distinguish them: there are the sour cherries, which are sour and excellent in syrup, and then the marasca cherries, which are small and dark in color, the basis of Maraschino liqueur. They lend themselves to filling tarts and enriching ice cream or yogurt cups, but they are also the ideal pairing with meats. Then, in June, it’s also time for apricots, to be eaten fresh or used to garnish fruit tarts, and soon for peaches as well, that will be at their best in the following weeks.
The star of June veggies: zucchini
If you love spring vegetables – green beans, peas and asparagus – you better hoard them now, as their season is drawing to a close. In the meantime, among the most versatile and easy to pair vegetables, zucchinis are making their way onto market stalls: boiled, grilled, chopped and pan-fried, grated inside frittatas and omelets, fried or baked. There is no type of cooking that zucchini cannot stand nor confrontation that they cannot handle: they can be paired with other vegetables for a tasty and delicious side dish, or stuffed with meat, tuna or rice (it’s best to use the round ones in this case). They can be used also in many traditional recipes, that make for an original and light version, such as Sicilian caponata, or parmigiana. They can give rise to creams and pates, to be spread on toasted bread slices, and to condiment for first courses, from risottos to pasta.
Zucchini flowers and cucumbers
Alongside zucchini, there are the zucchini flowers: ideal for enriching pasta dishes, they are also delicious in omelets, with a little mint and zucchini. Excellent au gratin, light and tasty when baked, zucchini flowers are at their best when fried and stuffed: with mozzarella and anchovies for the more traditionalists, but they are also delectable with ricotta cheese and herbs for vegetarians. Cucumbers are also on their way, to be used in for fresh salads with radishes or for Middle Eastern yoghurt sauces. They are also used in fillings for hamburgers and in gazpacho, a cold tomato soup perfect for the summertime. In order to preserve their flavor, they can be pickled too.