49 Summer Farmers' Market Recipes
Take advantage of summer’s vibrant bounty from farmers' markets, local farm stands, or even your own backyard with these delicious recipes.
Like pulled pork and fried chicken, the vegetable plate is embedded in the South's culinary DNA. Our veggie plate puts three components together that show off the deliciousness of the ingredients themselves.
Use the olive mix to dress other veggies, such as tomato wedges, cooked baby potatoes, or roasted bell peppers.
Recipe: Mediterranean Green Beans
Update the Italian tomato salad with a rich, tart dressing.
Recipe: Hot Bacon Caprese Salad
Squeezing the zucchini in paper towels helps remove excess water for a crisp, latke-like crust.
Blister and burst tomatoes under the broiler to hide imperfections and concentrate flavor. Use extras to fill omelets or sandwiches.
This elegant tian, a French dish of layered vegetables, is delicious warm or at room temp.
Recipe: Zucchini-Potato Casserole
Tomatoes, meet a new best friend.
Recipe: Cucumber-Basil Dressing
One bite of these Fried Zucchini Straws and you'll be hooked.
- Recipe: Fried Zucchini Straws
Summer squash casserole is the most versatile Southern side dish. It pairs well with everything from fried chicken at a summertime Sunday lunch to roast turkey at Thanksgiving.
- Recipe: Summer Squash Casserole
Dress thinly sliced vegetables with our fresh take on catalina dressing—inspired by two Birmingham chefs, Wil Drake and Roscoe Hall—and garnish with any fresh herbs you like.
Cook the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette. Ripe for riffs, the salad is also delicious with cheese-filled tortellini.
Recipe: Farmers' Market Pasta Salad
These vibrant and fresh corn recipes are fantastic when paired with your favorite mains.
Our first recipe is an off-the-cob play on a popular Mexican street dish.
Recipe: Grilled Mexican Corn Salad
This frittata makes a stunning presentation when plated. Fresh summer flavor abounds in every bite.
Recipe: Squash Frittata
This refreshing soup is full of fresh flavors. Make ahead and store up to 2 days.
- Recipe: Chilled Zucchini Soup
Spicy bits of hickory-smoked sausage kick up the heat in Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux. We liked the dish so much that the recipe was featured on our magazine cover.
Recipe: Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux
Spread pesto and fresh veggies and cheeses on a prebaked pizza crust for a simple, fresh meal. Tip: 1 medium-size ear of fresh corn yields about 1⁄2 cup kernels.
Recipe: Tomato-and-Corn Pizza
Miso is a Japanese staple with a slightly salty, pungent flavor. Find it in the international or refrigerated aisle at your grocery store.
This creamier cousin of sorbet makes a perfect palate cleanser. You can also scoop it into a glass or paper cone and top with a glug of rum or bourbon for a play on a frozen mint julep.
Recipe: Mint-Honeydew Ice
Serve these crispy baked chips as a side or an app.
Recipe: Baked Zucchini Chips
Two Southern favorites come together to create one delicious recipe.
Recipe: Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra
Pepitas, goat cheese, and homemade Salsa Verde jazz up this simple veggie.
Recipe: Grilled Squash and Salsa Verde
Nothing screams summer in the South more than plump, juicy heirloom tomatoes. Although these larger, colorful tomatoes have become more popular and readily available in recent years, they are still at their peak in the summer months. This simple salad of basil, pine nuts, and a light dressing showcases the true flavors of this unique fruit.
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad With Fresh Lady Peas
While traditional, the spices are not crucial. Salt and pepper will work just fine.
- Recipe: Okra-and-Potato Hash
Chop the veggies as finely or coarsely as you like; spoon over grilled meat.
Slice the cucumbers just until you reach the seeds, but no farther or the noodles become raggedy. Pair with fish or shrimp.
Store precooked okra in the fridge in a zip-top plastic bag. Wash just before using.
Recipe: Charred Okra
Use it on any salad, though it's particularly good on tomato salad.
This seasonal recipe combines the sharp flavors of red pepper, red onion, and crumbly blue cheese with hearty helping of fresh kale.
Recipe: Skillet Kale Pizza
Take fried okra to the next level with these Spicy Okra Fries.
- Recipe: Spicy Okra Fries
Freshly picked summer green beans have great texture that creates the perfect snap in each bite of this shrimp salad. Parmesan and bacon add a rich saltiness that flavors the beans and the shrimp. Serve over hot, crusty cornbread.
Recipe: Grilled Shrimp-and-Green Bean Salad
This quiche-like pie uses two of summer’s showstoppers— tomatoes and basil–mixed with gooey mozzarella and ham for a combination of savory and sweet. This dish is perfect for an afternoon brunch or lunch outdoors.
Recipe: Ham-and-Tomato Pie
Forget the can and make of use of fresh summer corn in this soup. The lump crabmeat is worth the splurge, but you can substitute shrimp if desired. Jalapeño and green bell peppers give it a hint of spice while the creamy base creates a nice balance. Garnish with chopped, crispy bacon, corn kernels, and cilantro for a delicious meal in a bowl.
Recipe: Corn-and-Crab Chowder
Try this chunky pesto riff as a sauce on fish or pork, tossed with cellophane or vermicelli noodles, or stirred into chicken noodle soup.
- Recipe: Peanut-Basil Relish
Recipe: Cornmeal-Fried Artichokes
Crowder peas, also known as cowpeas, are hearty and packed with protein. Combined with sweet corn, chopped onions, and bell peppers, they make a great addition to this popular Southern side dish. Serve at a family barbecue or picnic on a warm summer day.
Recipe: Crowder Pea Succotash
Shrub cocktails get their tart pucker from vinegar.
Recipe: Mint-Champagne Shrub
Simple yet elegant, these sweet and salty confections are sure to impress your guests at a party. A hint of salt added to melted caramel creates a wonderful flavor combination on top of one of summer’s best fruits. Cover with chopped mixed nuts for an extra crunch and beautiful presentation.
Recipe: Salted Caramel Strawberries
Although okra is commonly used in gumbos and stews, the grill can also bring out its flavor without making it too slimy. The tangy, garlic-infused Lemon-Basil Dipping Sauce is a wonderful partner for this side vegetable dish.
You can’t have a complete summer without ripe, juicy peaches. Here our favorite fuzzy fruit is kicked up a notch by throwing it on the grill and then layering it with slices of creamy mozzarella. A peach-puréed dressing with lime juice, green onions, honey, and cumin is the ultimate kicker to this knockout salad.
Recipe: Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad
Flaky piecrust envelops luscious plums for a crisp yet juicy summer dessert. The ripest plums might cause juices to ooze out the sides of the tart but will make the succulent dessert look that much more appealing. Before baking, sprinkle the tart and dough with coarse sugar for a professional finish.
Recipe: Rustic Plum Tart
Terrific flavors from the garden and grill come together in this twist on a New Orleans favorite. Served in smaller portions, it also makes a great first course.
Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Gumbo Salad
Recipe: Arkansas Tomato Sandwiches
The salty crunch of Fried Okra Tacos puts Tex-Mex takeout to shame. A sprinkling of sugar in the cornmeal coating caramelizes as the okra cooks, creating a crisp, golden crust.
Recipe: Fried Okra Tacos
Oaxaca is a region of Mexico where they have learned to take an already delicious summer vegetable and make it taste even better. Slather the cobs with a rich sour cream and mayonnaise mixture, season with spicy chili powder and salty Parmesan cheese, and then throw them on the grill. Finish off the corn with a squeeze of lime juice for a unique union of Mexican flavors.
Try this cooler with gin, vodka, rum, or tequila.
Recipe: Cucumber-Ginger Limeade
Watermelons are a classic summer road stand fruit that sometimes goes to waste because they are so large. Make use of your leftover watermelon slices and cool down from the heat with this fresh, tangy summer sipper.
Recipe: Watermelon Cooler
Run a knife along just-cut cobs to catch sweet corn milk in a bowl. It'll add flavor and creamy texture.
Recipe: Maque Choux Soup
Once you try this grilled chicken recipe with chopped macadamia, Mustard Sauce and Mango Salsa, chicken will never be the same. Juicy mango chunks mixed with cilantro, lime juice, and red onions create a Latin-inspired topping that adds a variety of flavors to ordinary chicken breasts. You can add or substitute pineapple in the salsa if preferred.
- Recipe: Macadamia-Mango Chicken
Our Farmers Market Cookbook is filled with more fresh produce recipes, divided into four chapters—Spring Recipes, Summer's Bounty, Autumn Harvest, and Winter Storehouse. The book also walks you through the farmers market experience and provides a Fresh Produce & Herb Primer with all the tips you need for selecting the best produce.