11 Foods at Their Peak in July
Juicy, delicious, and ripe–right about now
Perfect for al fresco dinners in the fading summer sun, we have rounded up the best produce to pick up at your local farmers’ market this July. Find some fresh corn? You won’t want to miss the Okra and Corn Maque Choux. With peaches, blueberries, and blackberries galore, you’re baking will really take off. We’re thinking pies or homemade ice cream for the summer. You will definitely see black-eyed peas at the farmers’ market, so scoop some up for Peas and Kale Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette. It would be a shame to miss these berries and veggies, all of which are at their freshest and most mouth-watering in July.
A wonder fruit, these berries are high in antioxidants and are just as easy to pop into summer salads as they are to bake into cakes, pies, and flavorful summer desserts. Try our Easy Blackberry Cobbler in individual ramekins for a simple summer treat.
Legend says that black-eyed peas bring luck, and anyone who tries these Southern-staple veggies in our recipe for Peas and Kale Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette will feel very lucky indeed.
A favorite of kids and adults alike, the humble blueberry takes center stage in July. Beyond accompanying strawberries in a fruit salad, the blueberry can add bold flavor to seasonal recipes. Try our fan-favorite Honey Balsamic Blueberry Pie recipe or our show-stopping, party-perfect recipe for Blueberry Salsa.
A quintessential summer vegetable, corn is a staple on our plates in July. It is a summer-harvest hero of the kitchen and can be baked into cornbreads and corn puddings, or tossed into salads, or it can stand alone—grilled, with a slight, tangy char. There’s nothing corn can’t do. Try it in an Okra and Corn Maque Choux.
Fry it, pickle it, grill it, or pack it and save it for next season. The possibilities are boundless for okra in July. Pair okra with another signature Southern ingredient in our recipe for Fried Pecan Okra, which is breaded with crushed pecans and baking mix.
Is there anything as pretty as a peach? Probably not, and definitely not in July. This fruit takes the cake—or pie, cobbler, or punch. Georgia and South Carolina produce more peaches than any other Southern states, and our recipes celebrate the fruit too. Just try our crowd-pleasing peach recipes: Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Peach Pie, Easy Peach Cobbler, or Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch.
Stop by a farmers’ market for summer squash this month, but be sure to get there early. This seasonal treasure will be flying off shelves and into shopping bags, transported home to be baked and grilled and served for dinner on patios across the South. Recipe-wise, there is no cuter or tastier appetizer than our Pimiento-Stuffed Summer Squash, and our traditional Summer Squash Casserole can’t be beat. If you’re in the gardening mood, try your hand at growing your own summer squash and look forward to next year’s bounty.
Tomatoes find their way into most summer dishes; they sneak into pastas, salads, and casseroles, adding juicy texture and sharp flavor to lunches and dinners. We want to celebrate the tomato harvest this July, and since it’s not just for spaghettis, Bloody Marys, and salsas anymore, we’re getting creative with some of our favorite produce this month, starting with Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Feta Dressing and Savory Tomato Cobbler.
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a slice of watermelon—juicy, dripping, and sweet—on a hot July day. We like to skewer cubes of watermelon in an easy-to-hold, picnic-perfect dish like Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime. Try the recipe and prepare yourself for an explosion of summer flavor.