Summer Recipes | CUESA

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July 06, 2012

Summer Recipes

sites/default/files/melons_countyline_0.jpgJuly marks a turning point at the market, as spring’s offerings give way to the fruits and vegetables of summer and early fall. Vibrant colors are on full display, and sweet flavors and light and juicy textures dominate the season. This is the time when heating-loving Solanums (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants) and Cucurbits (cucumbers, melons, and summer squash) get their day in the sun.

Other fruits, such as syrupy-sweet figs and plump, juicy blackberries, are becoming more abundant as we get deeper into summer. Cherries and apricots are dwindling as the bounty of peaches, nectarines, and plums rolls in. You can enjoy almost 40 varieties of peaches at the farmers market this season. 

sites/default/files/cherry_tomatoes_baskets.jpgMany of summer’s fruits and vegetables are delicious and nutritious eaten raw with minimal to no fussing, but there are also plenty of ways to prepare them in simple, farm-fresh dishes: lightly dressed and tossed into in salads, blended whole into sweet or spicy soups, marinated and grilled for succulent appetizers and entrées, chopped finely into salsas, muddled into cocktails, or poached and spooned over ice cream for an elegant dessert. Summer is also the time to start putting up the harvest, so the bounty can be savored throughout the rest of the year.

As our second annual Summer Celebration approaches, it’s a perfect time to dip into our recipe archives and let the many local chefs who have collaborated with us in the CUESA kitchen provide some inspiration for your menus. For more ideas, be sure to follow CUESA on Pinterest.

And because we know the Fourth of July is not the only day you’ll be firing up the barbecue this summer, be sure to check out our grilling tips, including a handy guide to grillable groceries in the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Here’s to many wonderful summer feasts!

Bites to Tempt the Appetite

sites/default/files/squash_baby_with_blossoms.jpgFigs and Arugula with Creamy Goat Cheese and Toasted Pecans
Baked Pesto Zucchini with Squash Blossoms
Sharlyn Melon with Boccalone Lardo and Torn Basils

Colorful Soups

Fresh Corn Soup
Red Pepper Bisque
Chilled Summer Melon Gazpacho
Fire-Roasted Eggplant Soup 

Farm-Fresh Salads

Summer Squash and Ricotta Salad
Heirloom Tomatoes with Watermelon
Sweet White Corn & Wild Arugula Salad with Pear Tomatoes, Pumpkin Seeds & Muscat Vinaigrette

Summer Entrées

Fresh Fig Quesadillas
Harissa-Marinated Lamb Skewers with Grilled Eggplant Toast and Tomato Salad
Summer Vegetable Sauté Frittata


Fruity Desserts

Grilled Stone Fruit with Honey and Ricotta
Carlon Family Blueberry Pie
Poached Apricots and Walnut Crisps
Peach Melba

Condiments & Preserves

Sour Dill Cucumber Pickles
Plum Catsup
Smoked Salsa de Chile de Cascabel

Cooling Refreshments

Blueberry Blast
Golden Maharani
Blackberry Shrub

For more summer recipes, visit the CUESA recipe archive.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »