Seasonal summer ingredients and what to do with them

Summer in New York City


Summer conjures up images of blue skies and sunshine, lighter clothes and longer days, barbeques and beach parties. But with it brings an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and wonderful salad ingredients during a summer season that runs from June through September.

new york city in summer


It is so much better for the planet to buy fresh produce in season, saving miles in terms of how far our food travels before it comes to our table, and making the most of food that isn’t processed in order for us to have it all year round.


Across the world there are markets selling fresh local produce which is seasonal, often organic, and which comes from real farmers and food producers. Farmers’ Markets and Greenmarkets are buzzing, vibrant places to spend a morning shopping for great ingredients for your summer recipes. If you can’t find a local market, you can of course find plenty of seasonal goodies in the produce department of your local supermarket or store.


Local Markets


In New York we are lucky to have plenty of Farmers’ Markets and Greenmarkets to choose from. To name just a few in the NY area, we have:


Union Square Greenmarket: located in one of New York City’s great public spaces, in peak season 140 regional farmers, fishers, and bakers sell their products here and weekly activities include cookery demonstrations and book signings


New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket:  this market is in the Bronx and has seasonal vegetables, orchard fruits and berries and a wide selection of fragrant herbs, cider, homemade pies, breads and more. Family activities feature edible gardening.


Park Slope Farmers’ Market: This Brooklyn Market has fresh fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats as well as preserves, eggs, honey and dairy, plus fiber and yarn for local knitters and crocheters.


92nd Street Greenmarket: As well as all of the wonderful produce you’d expect from a local market, you will find a compost collection, recycling collection, responsible disposal of batteries, cords, cell phones, corks and cartridges at this planet-friendly location on the Upper East Side.


Wherever you shop, look out for farm fresh produce, including eggs and dairy, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, freshly caught fish, locally made wine and even home-baked cakes locally.


What’s available in the summer?




The list is almost endless! You can choose from apples, apricots, tomatoes, cherries, nectarines and peaches as well as luscious berries such as strawberries and raspberries. Fresh peas are a delight and all kinds of greens such as cabbage, chard and spinach are also good through the summer.


I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe for a summer roast chicken and crunchy red cabbage summer ‘slaw that I hope you’ll love. Add some grilled corn cobs and you have an easy sunshine meal to share with friends and family.


Summer Roast Chicken


Mix together in a large bowl 3 tbs olive oil, juice of 2 lemons (save the shells), a couple tbs chopped herbs such as thyme, parsley and basil and 2 cloves chopped or crushed garlic.

Add a large chicken to the bowl and baste with the oil mixture until well coated. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the vegetables.

Add to a roasting tin 2 red onions, quartered, large chunks zucchini, chunks of bell pepper, 12 cherry tomatoes and a couple handfuls of small potatoes.

Place the chicken on top of the prepared vegetables, throw the lemon shells into the cavity and drizzle any remaining oil mixture over the chicken and vegetables.

Roast for 1 ½ hours with the oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 1 ½ hours until no blood appears when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a sharp knife. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing the meat, and placing on top of the roasted vegetables on a serving platter. (Serves 6-8.)


roast summer chicken


Crunchy Summer ‘Slaw


Finely slice and wash a small red cabbage (about 1Ib)

Coarsely grate 2 large carrots (peeled and washed) and 2 red apples (washed, skin on)

Finely slice 2 small peeled red onions

Finely chop a small handful washed flat leaf parsley


Mix together in a large bowl until well combined. In a small jar (with a lid) put 4 tbs mayonnaise, 2 tbs white wine vinegar and 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously until well mixed, then add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Leave in the fridge until ready to eat. (Serves 8.)




I really hope you enjoy making these quick and easy summer recipes. For dessert I think that there is nothing more summery than a beautiful glass bowl filled with glistening red strawberries  or a fruit salad and a jug of cream to pour over the top, or even a big spoonful of greek yoghurt!


Do share your photos with me on Instagram, and let me know of your favourite twists on my recipes.


Have a wonderful summer!