SUMMER PRODUCE GUIDE TO DINE IN STYLE

Summer is the peak growing season for fresh fruit and vegetables that will bring vibrant tastes and colours to your plate. Whether you're deciding which vegetables to plant in summer or planning a trip to the local farmer's market, our guide to summer fruits and vegetables will give you some new ideas to try.

SUMMER VEGETABLES TO COOK WITH

Aubergine

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Aubergine is a great go-to for vegetarians who crave meat because of its thick texture. It's great in casseroles and stews, but is versatile enough to work in sandwiches and even as dried crisps. It's resilient enough for the oven or fryer. Top tip: tenderise it by sprinkling the chopped rounds with salt for around 30 minutes to draw out its bitterness.

Aubergine RECIPES TO TRY:

STUFFED AUBERGINES

Honey and harissa marinated aubergines wrapped in kataifi

PEPPERS

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These colourful characters are large and wholesome, and unlike their smaller cousins they won't burn your tongue. They come in green, red, orange, and yellow, based on how soon they're harvested. Wait a while to see them change colour over time, becoming sweeter as they go. 

Aside from making great pizza toppings and adding rich colour to stir-fries, peppers are also great for roasting and stuffing. You can char peppers easily on the barbecue or under the grill, scraping off the blackened skin afterwards. That gets them ready for storing in oil, or for pureeing into a sauce.

PEPPER RECIPES TO TRY:

Roasted pepper and asparagus salad
Provencale stuffed peppers

CUCUMBER

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These cooling summer vegetables come in many shapes and sizes, from the long, thin English cucumber to Persian short, squat munchers.
For something that's around 96% water, the cucumber is surprisingly versatile. You can pickle it, make cold cucumber soups, and toss it in a salad. Use them to make Tzatziki sauce, or even put them in drinks.

CUCUMBER RECIPES TO TRY:

Spiced cucumber and apple morning shooter
Lamb souvlaki with greek salad and tzatziki

TOMATOES

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Available in bush or vine varieties, tomatoes need up to 100 days to harvest, making it one of the late summer vegetables, but it's worth the wait. You haven't really tasted tomato until it's just picked and still warm from the sun.

Tomatoes aren't just red. They come in green varieties, too. They also come in different sizes, from cute little cherry tomatoes through to big, juicy beefsteaks. Depending on the type, they'll go in everything from sauces and salsas to pizza and salads.

TOMATO RECIPES TO TRY:

Tomato and basil tart
Tomato bruschetta

SUMMER FRUITS TO TRY IN YOUR RECIPES

RASPBERRIES

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Summer-fruiting raspberries are typically ready to pick throughout June and July, although ever-bearing varieties will yield crops in the autumn and winter. They're excellent in everything from sauces to preserves, and can be folded into desserts and blended into smoothies. This summer produce also makes great cakes and brownies.

RASPBERRY RECIPES TO TRY:

Raspberry and pear crumble
White chocolate lemon and raspberry muffins

PEACHES

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Peaches bruise easily, so much be handled with care, but they're one of the most versatile fruits. Alongside peach drinks, peach cobblers, and preserves, you can cook peaches with savoury dishes spanning meat and seafood, and even make salsa with them.

PEACH RECIPES TO TRY:

Cinnamon grilled peaches and whipped cream
Peach and lemon mousse

LIMES

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This green, round citrus fruit comes in many varieties from around the world. Lime juice is a common ingredient in drinks (can anyone say Mojito?), while the zest of this popular summer produce makes its way into everything from soups through to desserts. Other uses for limes include adding some zing to a summer vegetable salad and including it in dressings.

LIME RECIPES TO TRY:

Chilli lime ginger salmon
Zesty lime king prawns

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