Get tips on picking, storing, and cooking fruits and vegetables that are in-season this month. Click on any featured piece of produce to go to its guide page with specific information.
Below the fruits & veggies you’ll find a collection of recipes for this month. Each recipe uses only ingredients that are currently in-season (or available year-round).
For a full list of other months and all of the detailed produce guides, go to the in-season page.
Farmers’ market recipes for July
If I am going to take the time to go to the farmers market, I want to make use of everything they have to offer.
These recipes all use ingredients that are in-season for July (or available at high quality year-round, like lemons or limes), and have a creative spin on the ingredients.
Let’s start off with some appetizers
Smashed blackberry and goat cheese toasts – recipe from Wry Toast
Blackberries and blueberries get simmered with a little sugar and vanilla to make a ‘smashed’ jam to put on toast. Blackberries naturally have a little bitterness, but that gets tempered with sugar and cooking. More about blackberries >>
Crisp zucchini bites with garlic aioli dip – recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen
It takes a bit of work to bread and pan-fry these zucchini bites, but it’s a fun way to make use of this super abundant and inexpensive summer vegetable. If you need to use up zucchini, I have more recipes.
Spicy harissa shrimp and watermelon bites – recipe by Rhubarbarians
This recipe has 3 ingredients: shrimp, harissa paste, and watermelon. You’ll want a peak-season, vine-ripened watermelon for this to really make an impression.
It can be really difficult to pick out a ripe watermelon, but you should have good luck at a farmers market (and you can ask the farmer to help you pick one).
Fun fact from my watermelon guide: A lot of resources suggest thumping a watermelon and listening for a hollow sound. It’s hard to even know what it should sound like, and the Watermelon Promotional Board even suggests not using that test.
Muhammara (roasted red pepper dip) – recipe by The Mediterranean Dish
This is actually a great recipe for using up some peppers that might be on the decline: roast them, puree them, then turn them into a dip.
Apricot habanero jam – recipe by Prairie Californian
Next up: salads for July
Grilled peach, corn, and zucchini salad with lemon-basil vinaigrette – recipe by The Simple Veganista
A grilled vegetarian salad to highlight summer flavors, with 15 minutes of prep work. Quinoa adds a good source of plant-based protein and the author also occasionally adds in some chickpeas for even more protein.
Fig and halloumi salad with balsamic fig dressing – recipe by Amuse Your Bouche
Ripe figs are very perishable and don’t ship well which is why figs are the supermarket seem a little lackluster. The honey-syrup flavor of a perfectly ripe fig is worth the trip to the farmers market.
Unlike most fruit, where wrinkled skin is a sign of over-ripeness, plump but slightly wrinkled figs are the best kind. But pass up figs that look shrunken or ones that have sap seeping from cracks – those are overripe. Ripe figs should be used within 1-2 days. More about figs >>
Eggplant and caramelized onion grain salad grapes and walnut dressing – recipe by Whole Bite Blog
Purple kale, aubergine (eggplant), and blackberry salad – recipe by Green Kitchen Stories
This salad has a lot of ingredients and takes a bit of work to make, but looks well worth it. Most of the ingredients are used fresh, while the eggplant is roasted.
Eggplants are similar to mushrooms in that they act like sponges to soak up flavor. So roasting them with cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne as this recipe suggests, will add a nice punch of flavor to the salad.
Kale salad with cherries, pistachios and grilled flank steak – recipe by So Let’s Hang Out
This is a quick & simple summer salad that uses up the last of the cherries before they are out of season.
Pick cherries in the store or farmers market with shiny skins and green stems attached. Wrinkling is a sign of decline. You can store cherries in your fridge for about a week. Get more cherry tips & recipes >>
Almond-crusted goat cheese, fig and peach salad – recipe by Floating Kitchen
Figs, peaches, and cheese… need I say more?
Arugula salad with summer berries and steak – recipe from Sweet Peas & Saffron
Use an assortment of berries from the farmer’s market – if they have it, it’s local and in-season. Most summer berries are in season at the same time.
Main courses, some with meat, some without
Orange-herb chicken kabobs with blueberry balsamic sauce – recipe by Plating Pixels
While most citrus are winter fruits, you can find oranges year-round, the variety just differs. In summer, look for Valencia oranges.
Grilled chicken naan wraps with roasted red pepper tahini sauce – recipe by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Fire up that grill and cook some chicken and peppers. While I love that this is seasonal in July, it’s worth noting that you could get away with making this in winter when you are looking for something other than squash and stews. Sub in a jar of roasted red peppers instead of the fresh ones.
20-minute beef snow pea skillet – recipe by Nutmeg Nanny
Ready in 20 minutes and a great way to use up a pound of snow peas (or even snap peas) that you find at the market. Look for pods that are plump with no wrinkles (and indication of decline). Scars on the pods are fine and are not an indication of low quality.
Rosemary roasted pork tenderloin with plum chutney – recipe by Carolina Girl Cooks
Plums don’t get sweeter after they are picked, but since they ship better than other stone fruits (like peaches), they have a higher chance of having ripened longer on the tree. If the plums aren’t soft, store them on the counter for a few days, then move to the fridge if they are soft and you aren’t ready to use them.
Eggplant pomodoro pasta – recipe by Foolproof Living
Eggplant and tomato season overlap very well! You’ll want peak-season tomatoes for this dish. Different colored tomatoes do have unique flavor characteristics and I suggest mixing different varieties into this dish if possible.
- Red: the classic tomato flavor
- Yellow: a bit more citrusy and less acidic
- Purple / brown: more earthy, often described as complex, like wine
- Green: actual green tomatoes are more tart, sometimes with a sharp spicy bite (similar to arugula). These are not unripe tomatoes, but actual green varieties.
Zucchini alfredo – recipe by Damn Delicious
Zucchini noodles – you either hate them or love them for their low-carb, low-calorie count. At 200 calories per serving, this recipe is a great way to use up those zucchini.
Sweet corn curry – recipe by Yup, it’s Vegan!
This recipes uses fresh corn, green chilies, and tomatoes. While peak-season produce always tastes best, this strongly-seasoned dish can be forgiving with produce that isn’t perfectly vine-ripened and picked that morning.
Mini Italian meatball mac and cheese stuffed peppers – recipe by Half Baked Harvest
Meatball and mac & cheese filled peppers? Yes, please.
Look for large peppers that will sit well in a pan when standing upright. Any color pepper will work, although green peppers have a slightly bitter taste while the other colors are a bit sweeter. Get more bell pepper tips & recipes >>
BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with raspberry-jalapeno salsa and onion rings – recipe by No Spoon Necessary
Jalapenos are in season when it gets much warmer out, around July – so make these once jalapenos are available, otherwise sub in your favorite hot sauce or dried chilies. The recipe calls for packaged pulled pork – if you are making your own, here’s a recipe to try from Stuck on Sweet.
Veggie hummus sandwich – recipe by Cooking Classy
Tomato and cucumber season conveniently overlap. All of the other ingredients are available year-round. While any tomato works, a good ‘slicing’ tomato is best on sandwiches. Most of the imperfectly shaped speckled or striped heirloom tomatoes you find at the market are great for slicing.
Grilled eggplant gyros with tzatziki – recipe by Jackie Newgent
I find it incredibly difficult to make good gyro meat at home, so why not try it with eggplant? This is another recipe where eggplant is used to soak up some extra flavor, in this case, the gyro seasoning.
Blueberry, brie, and lemon curd grilled cheese – recipe by Two Peas & Their Pod
After you spend a few minutes cooking down the blueberries, you just layer them on some bread with brie and lemon curd. Then cook it up like a grilled cheese and you’re done.
It’s very hard to tell if blueberries are vine-ripened and flavorful without tasting them. This is one of the main reasons I seek them out at the farmers markets. This ‘grilled cheese’ would also work with blackberries or raspberries.
Shrimp tacos with apricot and strawberry salsa – recipe by Figs and Flour
A taco made for hot summer nights. Definitely get strawberries from the farmers market to avoid those flavorless disappointments that seem to be at every grocery store these days. Since strawberries are grown nationwide, they shouldn’t be too hard to find.
While you’re there, look for apricots as well. Ripe ones will spell apricot-y or maybe a little rose-like. Store on the counter until they are slightly soft. If you aren’t ready to use them, store them in the fridge.
Don’t forget the side dishes!
Corn and basil cakes – recipe by Noble Pig
Freshly shucked corn is worth the little bit of extra effort. Look for corn with fresh-looking silks coming out of the top. If you aren’t using them right away, store them in the fridge. Get more info on corn, including a video on shucking from Martha Stewart.
Baked figs with goat cheese – recipe by Happy Kitchen Rocks
An easy recipe to serve for guests or put on that epic charcuterie board you’ve been planning. If your farmers market offers different fig varieties, grab some of each and bake them all up. Black mission figs are the most well-known: dark with a teardrop shape. Brown Turkey, Calimyrna, and Kadota are also worth trying.
Chili lime salted watermelon – recipe by My Diary of Us
This feels like it should be a margarita, but works as an appetizer or snack too. Limes are available year round.
Bonus section: desserts & drinks
Chocolate cherry galette – recipe from Baking a Moment
Because you can’t get enough cherry galettes, here is a chocolate version that is incredible. Cherries actually transport well so it shouldn’t be too hard to find pretty good ones wherever you live.
Blackberry cobbler – recipe by Homemade Food Junkie
Blackberries are grown in most climates so you have a good chance of finding them at your farmers market this month. Store them in the fridge on a paper towel-lined tray to absorb excess moisture.
Healthy lemon blueberry muffins with honey – recipe by Gluten Free with L.B.
Blueberries are highly perishable so it’s hard to find really flavorful ones at the supermarket. I like going to the farmers market for blueberries because I know I can taste them before buying.
However, muffins are very forgiving to fruit that is lacking in some flavor. Sugar and carbs can fix a lot of things 😉
Concord grape sherbert – recipe by The Messy Baker
This recipe will take a bit of work – you need to squeeze the pulp out of grapes and cook it down. Meanwhile you puree the skins and try to extract as much liquid from them as possible. But if you have some time, it’s worth it for a grape-juice-flavored sherbert – something you won’t find in stores.
Blackberry, fig and bourbon punch – recipe by Heather Christo
This is another recipe where peak-season produce would be amazing. However, a recipe like this can give new life to produce that lacks a bit of flavor. Nothing a little sugar and bourbon can’t fix.
Blueberry basil margaritas – recipe by Supergolden Bakes
If you have an abundance of blueberries, this is the perfect excuse for an afternoon drink. One reviewer used 75% blueberries and 25% blackberries and said that was also delicious. (You could also use frozen berries in winter to escape the winter ‘blues’).
Nectarine and ginger lemonade – recipe by Happy and Harried
This recipe is made from fresh-squeezed lemons and a nectarine-ginger simple syrup. Any summer fruit can be used, not just nectarines.
This is another recipe that can use up less-flavorful fruit since it gets cooked down into a syrup.
Raspberry Mojitos – recipe by Heather Christo
Raspberries are so delicate, shipping is really difficult. Fortunately, they are grown across most of the US so you should have luck finding them locally near you. After you get the berries home, store them in the fridge on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess moisture. Also separate ones that are purple, as those are past their prime and might mold soon (so just eat them now).
Watermelon mojitos – recipe by Vintage Mixer
A super refreshing drink for a sunny afternoon. Throw the watermelon in a blender with some rum, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add some mint to be fancy, and you’re done.
Plum sauce fig shake – recipe by Mitzy At Home
If you are making this the same day you pick up the fruit, look for ones that are already ripened. Plums will feel soft under gentle pressure when ripe and figs will be plump with slightly wrinkled skin (one of the only fruits where wrinkled skin is a good sign).