Sure, you can get most produce year-round at your local supermarket nowadays, but there’s something truly magical about perusing over a basket of jewel-toned tomatoes picked that morning by someone with dirt under their fingernails. With that in mind, we enlisted the help of chef Shaun Garcia—who uses farm-fresh produce seven nights a week at his restaurant Soby’s New South Cuisine in Greenville, South Carolina—to help us brush up on the basics and make the most of our summer haul.
“The big advantage for farmers markets is that most farmers pick their produce just one day before market. They want it to look as fresh as possible,” Garcia explains. You can also find more unique variations of your favorites, like heirloom tomatoes, squash hybrids, and uncommon basil cultivars. The best part is they do all the heavy lifting; it only takes a light touch to wind up with a delicious result.
Read on for tips on some of our summer favorites—peaches, tomatoes, and peppers—including how to pick ‘em and some simple preparations to make them shine. And be sure to grab a copy of our Summer issue for more tips on the most-loved harbingers of the season.
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