For most chefs, cooks and bakers, summer is one of the most sought-after seasons because of the bright and flavorful fruits and vegetables that become available at peak freshness.
With less than a month left of summer, we asked some of our culinarians what their favorite end of summer ingredients are, and here’s what they had to say:
Flavor King Pluots (Specifically from Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, CA)
These pluots are called “Flavor Kings” because they are quite literally that. Juicy, flavorful and refreshing, like nature’s candy. They are wonderful to eat on their own, but I like to eat them layered on a slice of sourdough bread with burrata, good olive oil and some flaky sea salt. I’ve also baked them into a tart with almond filling.
Isabella T., Bread Sous Chef – Menlo Park, CA
My favorite summer ingredient is blackberries! They’re found growing in lush forest trails in the Pacific North West to the city streets of Seattle. When I finally see them in the city it’s a reminder that beautiful things flourish in all kinds of environments! I love using them to make blackberry jam. It’s the perfect pick-me-up to spread on toast.
Kyle S., Pastry Chef – Seattle, WA
My go to is okra. I remember as a child going into the garden and picking it fresh. We would fry it up in cornmeal for a snack before dinner, which was gumbo with okra in it or stewed tomatoes with okra and corn over rice.
Tommie J., Jr. Sous Chef – Menlo Park, CA
So fresh in summer and such a versatile ingredient. You can use them in salsa, tomato sauce, garnish on pizza or in pasta or omelets. I also love growing them in my garden. What I enjoy most is using a good tomato in a simple dish like caprese salad where its flavor can shine through.
Tyler K., Sous Chef – Washington, D.C.
My favorite end of summer ingredient is bi-color corn. This is the only time of the year you can get really good, sweet corn. It is so versatile and pairs well with a lot of other end of summer products My favorite thing to make with it is a corn, bean and tomato salad. I grill or blister the corn on a burner and cut the kernels off the cobb. I then mix it with heirloom cherry tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, romano beans, basil, cilantro and either a lime vinaigrette or white balsamic vinaigrette. It goes great with everything summer.
Rudolph N., Sous Chef – New York, NY