HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Summertime foods you can't wait to eat!

Fresh off the vine tomatoes
Soft shell crab sandwich
Fresh corn from Chino's in RSF

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Corn on the cob roasted on my grill!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: PotatoHouse

      TOMATOES for caprese
      TOMATOES for bruschetta
      TOMATOES in my salad
      Peaches, cherries & strawberries
      TOMATOES with a salt shaker and napkin!
      And TOMATOES...

      1. re: ItalianNana

        TOMATOES and nothing! Sometimes I'll just bite into one while picking a bowlful--eat it naked (the tomato, not me), not even washed. Still warm from the sun. Tomato juice drippng off my chin. Summer.

    2. Mostly just the tomatoes, but strawberries too. Yum!

      1. Royal Anne cherries, along with Bing cherries. Strawberries (fresh, local, uber-sweet strawberries). Definitely sweet corn on the cob...and off the cob! Real, honest, non-hot-house tomatoes.

        Grilled meats of all kinds.

        5 Replies
          1. re: Crockett67

            Tomatoes (slathered with mayo and white bread!)
            Corn on the cob
            Cantaloupe (with Proscuitto, of course)
            Last but not least, Margarita's on the rocks! (I know, that's a year round drink - couldn't resist)

            1. re: chloebell

              Margaritas might be available year-round, but they sure taste better while sitting out on the beach vs. inside to ward of the cold!

            2. re: Crockett67

              Yes, bowlfuls and bowlfuls of Bing and Rainier cherries from Yakima valley. The epitome of summer for me!

          2. Gazpacho! And the tomatoes of all kinds that come out of the garden

            1. Small fresh yellow crook necked squash. Don't cut them up. Steam them whole then serve with salt and butter. Or olive oil

              1 Reply
              1. re: lastZZ

                I slice in half lengthwise, brush with oo, s&p and grill.

              2. Great salad stuff. Up here in CT we'll get a good six months plus of seriously good tasting lettuces, greens, arugula, broccoli, then tomatoes, green onions, sunchokes, etc. The mesclun we buy during the rest of the year seems tasteless compared to what we pick out of the garden.

                1. Cucumber relish, salads, BBQ, broccoli, and pickles.

                  Combine fine chopped: cucumbers four parts, chives one part, and pickles one part with a little mayo (can mix 50/50 sour cream and mayo). Do not put in too much mayo or will be too 'watery'. Tasty and simple. Cucumber relish is a good side dish. Awesome with BBQ meat. Great on top of BBQ burgers and dogs. Can substitute green onion or even a mild onion if do not have chives. Do not salt until eat as brings out moisture. I like only a little fresh ground black pepper maybe a touch of ground chili powder. If cucumbers have huge seeds with lots of liquid in the center, halve then scrape out seed centers by spoon before chop. My grandmother made it up to make ahead then eat on the river by boat out of a cooler. Good with ketchup and / or mustard on top. Often eat next to baked beans, cottage cheese, and salad with some sort of BBQ or smoked meat. Good for many days to grab. Consuming cucumber relish reminds me of summer even in the winter.

                  Summer is timer for garden fresh: spinach, beets, tomatoes, corn, snap pees, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, dill, chili peppers, green beans, radishes, garlic, green onions, chives, onions, cucumbers, basil, rosemary, thyme, plums, prunes, apricots, apples, cherries, berries, pears, peaches, corn, squash, nuts, chard, etc. And everything can make with it like garlic dill hot pickled: cucumbers, green beans, beets, carrots, and more. Also do preserves, tomato sauce, dried cherry tomatoes, salsa, tuna, dry fruit, and juice. I enjoy to eat as much as possible off the land. Canned food grown here is tasty year round. Summer is when work to stock up for another year of naturally good food out of the pantry. Jars do not fill themselves. Gardening is a constant learning process to maximize great food out for what goes in.

                  1. Of course all the veggies and fruits mentioned. The one thing I love is Turkey burgers cooked on a grill. I eat ground turkey all the time but a turkey burger benefits from a grill. I can eat a hambuger cooked on a cast iron skillet during the winter but not a turkey burger.

                    1. Maryland Blue Crabs
                      Fresh picked corn on the cob
                      My homegrown tomatoes (all kinds) and basil

                      1. First and foremost, tomatoes. Fresh off the vine.


                        Spring garlic (I know you said summer but I do look fwd to this)

                        First of the season arugula

                        all my herbs, snipped to order!


                        Corn on the cob

                        1. Peaches- which will be at their peak when I vacation on the Outer Banks this summer. I always buy a bushel to bring home with me.
                          Tomatoes and corn, of course!

                          1. sweet corn on the cob
                            peaches from the local orchard
                            my favorite local restaurant will have gazpacho on the menu again
                            the local farmers market will open and provide all sorts of fresh local goodies
                            my herb garden will come to life and provide me with enough basil to make all the caprese salads I could want

                            1. Fresh strawberries and blueberries.

                              I roasted my first asparagus of the season the other night, and it was so good!

                              1. More late spring than summer - but being able to buy LIVE soft-shell crabs to clean & cook at home. Although last year Wegmans supermarket instilled a "must have crabs killed & cleaned in-store" because they were scared that folks would buy the live crabs, allow them to die uncleaned at home, & then poison themselves. Geesh - talk about stupid on several levels. (The reason I insist on killing/cleaning live crabs at home, is that - after paying up to $7 EACH for the crabs, have watched the vendor chop off nearly HALF of each crab cutting off the "face". One quarter to a 1/2" is all that is necessary.)

                                Other springtime treats? Fresh Fiddlehead ferns, which should be showing up in markets starting next month.

                                For summer? EVERYTHING!! Our local farmers market opens the end of next month, & I can't wait. Just as it will be difficult to wait for the things I currently have growing for my own garden.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                  Good grief.... $7 a piece for one soft shell? Where do you live?

                                  1. re: Phoebe

                                    The northern Piedmont area of VA. They're so expensive because they're sold alive - not the usual "pre-cleaned" or "frozen & thawed" that most markets sell. Those are cheaper.

                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                      I'll count myself lucky. I live on the NC coast and usually pay no more than $2-3 for a live one. Count yourself lucky that a purveyor in your area actually cares enough to bring in the "fresh" ones and not the frozen ones!!!

                                      1. re: Phoebe

                                        Oh believe me, I DO count myself lucky. Especially since I grew up on the Long Island waterfront & use to crab myself all the time.

                                        I can't stand the pre-cleaned frozen soft-shells, they're always flat & smell/taste overly "fishy". Tried them a couple of times from different sources, but always with the same outcome.

                                2. TOMATOES!!! In in NJ, but can't grow them in the ground anymore cuz of D@#$ critters... groundhogs, in particular. Have a farmer's market and several roadside stands that will open up in June or so. WHen they "say" they have Jersey tomatoes then or corn, I KNOW they're LYING!! Have a little mom/pop stand that always has great produce. I don't buy tomatoes from maybe October till July... take a chance on grape tomatoes for flavor, but they're even iffy.

                                  Jersey sweet corn... if a stand says they have it in June... they're LYING!! When it's local and available... I'm all over it. If I had to eat it without dripping butter and S&P... would probably PASS!?!

                                  LOCAL asparagus will show up in a few months. Can get nice stuff from wherever?? almost all year round but usually at a premium, I don;t care about the PEE issue.

                                  As a kid, would go on strawberry picking trips... usually Dad, my AUnt (his sister) and 6 kids. Rode on wagon behind tractor with containers for picking. Vividly remember Dad looking like a casualty of war... splattered with overly rip berries ob white t-shirt.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kseiverd

                                    Jersey corn and tomatoes, of course. And softshells.

                                    Also local raspberries!

                                  2. Fresh, ripe and so "damn juicy you need a bib" melons (of all kinds)

                                    1. Tomatoes, fresh from the garden!

                                      1. Cherries...Peaches...Nectarines
                                        Grilling by the pool in the summertime..eating and drinking.

                                        1. Asparagus, raspberries.

                                          1. I'm in the Bay Area and have a great farmer's market open all year, less than 2 miles from my home. We get great produce all year from local growers (including strawberries) but the only-in-spring/summer items I love are

                                            Heirloom tomatoes
                                            Brentwood corn
                                            Asparagus (got the first batch last weekend)
                                            Summer squash

                                            I'm getting tired of brussels sprouts and winter squash. I do love them but enough already!

                                            1. Summertime means being back in Berlin, so....

                                              - fresh buffalo mozzarella that doesn't cost an arm & a leg
                                              - cherries
                                              - white asparagus (really more of a spring fling, tho)
                                              - chanterelles!
                                              - trout caviar
                                              - döner & falafel
                                              - hopefully good tomatoes, but likely not
                                              - fantastic German, Italian, Austrian, Thai, French & Turkish food
                                              - smoked, cured, pickled fish
                                              - awesome fried chicken
                                              - whole grilled mackerel
                                              - great pizza

                                              Upon my return to the boonies in July or August:
                                              - grilled anything: steak, burgers, whole trout, zukes, corn
                                              - corn on the cob
                                              - corn on the cob
                                              - corn on the cob

                                              Did I mention corn?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                <- corn on the cob
                                                - corn on the cob
                                                - corn on the cob>

                                                This and the BLTs with the local maters are the reason that I always gain a few pounds in August and September - totally worth it, though.

                                              2. Lobster rolls by the water
                                                Fresh picked strawberries
                                                Most fresh local veggies
                                                Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream from Richardson's Dairy

                                                1. Can't wait to harvest stuff I've already got in the garden:

                                                  San Diego tomatoes
                                                  white queen corn
                                                  Japanese eggplant
                                                  white onions
                                                  + all the citrus: oranges, satsumas, lemons, limes

                                                  Will soon be planting rest of the veggies and the herbs. Good eating all summer!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    Where do you live????? Tomatoes? Corn? Etc.?

                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                        Don't you love the way everything grows here in California? My orange trees and Meyer lemon tree produce almost year round.Big fat juicy citrus globes picked fresh off my trees.

                                                    1. re: Khatru

                                                      Michigan peaches! And this cold winter, as opposed to last March's 80 degree stretch which devastated the tree fruit here, means we'll have plenty of them!

                                                      And cherries
                                                      Asparagus and strawberries
                                                      Local cantaloupe
                                                      Produce that tastes like what it is instead of a sad copy

                                                    2. Just salad dinners in general: tomato, potato, coleslaw, mixed greens, white beans in vinaigrette with more oil than Mrs. O likes … and getting my fresh veges from the farmer's markets instead of stores. Heirloom tomatoes grown in CA instead of Mexico, and let's hope the crop is good enough so that Whole Foods puts them on sale again! Midsummer makes me pine, sort of, for Tennessee: yes, the heat and humidity are ghastly, but that's when all the fresh field peas come in - blackeyes, purple eyes, creamers, Lady peas, crowders - still a bit moist, cook up in a hurry and taste so good. Fresh local green beans are a treat there, too.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        Mr. Owen, nice to hear you talk about field peas......not many are familiar with them. I love'em all!

                                                        1. re: chloebell

                                                          There is an open air market near me that trades me pickles for peas and beans. I have to pick them but that's fine by me. And if I don't have my own cukes growing for the pickles, she sells me some at a discount. Purple hull beans, black eyed peas, crowder peas cranberry beans... yum

                                                      2. My mom's tomatoes,
                                                        grilled peaches, and most of all,
                                                        mountains of CHERRIES.

                                                        The other night I dreamt of cherries and woke up drooling.

                                                        1. While I miss many fruits / veggies during the non-summer months, I have to say that watermelon is a clear #1 on my list. Why? Because the disparity because what I can get in the summer versus now is the greatest.

                                                          Stonefruits are amazing in the Bay Area and I miss those from my favorite orchard dearly, but I can actually live on the stuff that's imported from Chile and elsewhere around the world.

                                                          But man, that pallid,squishy, flavorless crap sold as watermelon now is inedible compared to the watermelon I get from the farmer's market every week.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                            Does your favorite orchard grow peaches? I have been on the hunt for sweet juicy peaches. All that I can find have been picked too early for me. I like mine soft and juicy!

                                                            I usually see apricots and plums in the bay area. I'm in the South Bay.

                                                          2. Blue claw crabs steamed with Old Bay!!

                                                            1. The usual veggies. Sweet Olathe corn on the cob that's grown here in CO (the kind that Fresno State in central CA grows is awesome too but I don't live there anymore). Also grilling as much as possible.

                                                              1. Tomato sandwiches
                                                                Sweet corn
                                                                White peaches
                                                                Pick your own strawberries and blueberries

                                                                Summer can't come soon enough!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                  Tomato sandwiches..with gobbs of Best Foods, fresh ground pepper, sea salt and Kettle Jalapeno chips squished inside.
                                                                  Oh yeah baby!

                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                    Exactly! But I'll take salt and vinegar chips in my tomato sandwich, please.

                                                                2. Caprese salad for dinner:

                                                                  Good tomatoes
                                                                  Fresh mozzarella
                                                                  home-grown basil
                                                                  olive oil

                                                                  And good bread and white wine. That's dinner about once a week all summer long.

                                                                  1. steamed maryland blue crabs, heirloom tomatoes, steamed crabs, peaches, steamed crabs, cold beet soup, and did i mention....STEAMED CRABS??!!!

                                                                    Maryland season opens April 1. Can't wait!

                                                                    1. Real tomatoes, ideally from my garden (hear that, seedlings?) and all the things you can do with them: BLTs, gazpacho, tomato soup, salad caprese, just eating them out of hand.

                                                                      And stone fruits: apricots, peaches, cherries, plums. And corn. And figs. And the ultra-cheap red peppers the farmers' market has. And fresh corn on the cob. And watermelon. And blackberries if I can beat the other people to the patch by the train tracks.

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tardigrade

                                                                        Wild blackberries. I am green with envy. They don't grow around here anymore

                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                          Come to NC. I am pretty much the only forager on the cross country trails where I go "running"... And emerge an hour later with stained tongue and fingers, as well as battle scratches from them thorns! :-)

                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                            Stained fingers, scratches and a full belly. Worth it!

                                                                          2. re: suzigirl

                                                                            Come to California they grow wild by every river and train track out here:) My favorite are wild blackberries made into a pie and then wild blackberries sweetened with sugar until syrupy over home made vanilla ice cream.I drive out to the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery at least once every summer to pick them.

                                                                            1. re: Lillipop

                                                                              Oooohhhhhhhhh.....my sister and I used to go pick blackberries in a vacant lot about a half mile from our house. We'd come home with stained teeth and fingers, but also buckets of them. Mom wasn't a big baker, but we'd put the blackberries over ice cream, squishing some of them to make a "blackberry juice" to drizzle over the ice cream. Love that you still get to do that!

                                                                                1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                  So YOU are why they're all gone when I go to the hatchery!

                                                                                  1. re: ricepad

                                                                                    I have never seen anyone else there picking them! I think it is so pretty up there....I love it and if you are diligent you can get a ton of berries.

                                                                                    1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                      We've found that the most productive patch seems to be right below where a bunch of turkey vultures like to roost in the trees. I don't wanna think about that too much!

                                                                                      1. re: ricepad

                                                                                        Are you teasing me about my spot out at the Mokelumne River by the Fish Hatchery out near Clements Ca.? I have been going out there for years to just enjoy watching the river and by chance my adult son and I found the hatchery and the berry bushes when we drove left instead of right. I have never seen another soul near the berry bushes.I have arrived to find empty bushes a few times. I used to pick them out on the San Joaquin Delta river where Brookside is now built.If I see a wild berry patch I will always stop if it is safe and pick some. I carry a beach type bag and garden gloves in the trunk of my car ( and sun screen...first aid kit for injuries from picking). That is how much I (and my son) love those wild berries.

                                                                                        1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                          Yes, that's the place! Another place that's easy to get to and can yield some really great berries is the nature trail at Lodi Lake, but you have to go way out toward the end...the vines nearer the parking area get picked over pretty quickly. Or put a kayak in the water at the Mokelumne Beach Resort and hit the vines that droop into the river.

                                                                                          As for the fish hatchery, look for the turkey vultures roosting, and you'll find the best berry patch.

                                                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                                                            Thanks for warning me about those turkey vultures:) I cannot wait to go scavenge some berries in a few weeks:)

                                                                                            1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                              Another place that may be pretty good is the Woodbridge Wilderness Area that is only open on a limited basis. I haven't been there yet, but I've been meaning to check it out.

                                                                                  2. re: Lillipop

                                                                                    I usually find them in the middle of a patch of poison oak!

                                                                              1. Peaches...melons.....berries.. corn on the cob.....tiny little zucchini..tomatoes from my vines. Asparagus has been available for a month here.

                                                                                1. Local strawberries, local corn, and local asparagus. Wild Maine blueberries as well.

                                                                                  1. PULLED PORK! RIBS! So, okay, they don't technically require summer to be eaten, but still. The whole process of hours-long smoking sessions is much less painful in nice, warm weather.

                                                                                    For a true summer experience, I'll say a grilled burger topped with a thick slice of garden tomato and dollop of homemade mayonnaise.

                                                                                    1. A Dilly Burger from Dilly’s Corner sitting on the picnic table outside the place (in the shade) tons of napkins required!
                                                                                      Soft shell crabs
                                                                                      Anything from a local roadside-stand including
                                                                                      Good cantaloupe
                                                                                      Zucchini (like baseball bats, like my Grandpop used to grow)
                                                                                      Lettuce from Dad’s garden
                                                                                      Green bean salad w/ garlic and mint
                                                                                      Anything on the grill that I can sit out on our deck and eat

                                                                                      1. This is cheating, but although the unbeatable Tomatoes of Summer won't arrive for a few months yet the baby heirlooms at Trader Joe's do taste very much like actual tomatoes, enough so that I jumped the gun on a summer staple, the Salade de Tomates. Not the pure version, which is only chunks of ripe, fresh tomato, salt, pepper, oil and a splash of vinegar, because those must be local tomatoes, or as close as it gets. This is the one with adequate tomatoes, chunks of cucumber, chunks of avocado, and crumbled feta, dressed as above. They both should be made one to three hours before serving and kept covered at room temperature, no matter what that is. And it's been so long since I made one I forgot that it requires a decent baguette to accompany it. Damn.

                                                                                        1. fresh from the garden basil, local strawberries, just picked tomatoes, just picked peas, local corn and local peaches

                                                                                          1. Soft shell crabs
                                                                                            fresh NC shrimp - wonderful!
                                                                                            fresh tuna
                                                                                            fresh grouper

                                                                                            Corn on the cob
                                                                                            Green beans
                                                                                            Yellow squash


                                                                                            My sister's fabulous okra pickles. Last year she had a bumper crop of okra and canned over 100 pints and quarts of pickles - enough for family, friends, neighbors and for their pantry for the year - she still has quite a few left. Unbelievably delicious!