Fresh vegetables of all kinds reach their peak during the summer. I enjoy a salad much more when there are plenty of colorful veggies in it; don't you? To select the very best eggplants, ears of corn, and other vegetables at the grocery store or in the field, you must know what to look for. Check out some tips on how to determine whether a vegetable is fresh.
Ripe asparagus has a firm stalk: These veggies are supposed to be easy to snap when you prepare them at home. Also, ripe asparagus is straight and has purple tips. April is when asparagus is at its peak, but it is delicious through the month of June.
The peak season for an avocado depends on what type it is. For instance, the peak season for Anaheim avocados runs from June to September. A ripe avocado is dark green. Pick up the avocado and gently squeeze it in your palm. If you feel it yield a little under the pressure, then it is ripe. Check the surface of the avocado for bruises or indentations: An avocado with a lot of bruises is usually overripe.
A ripe ear of corn has a large collection of plump kernels with none missing. The husks are bright green and wrapped tightly around the corn. Look for brown tassels. This vegetable is at its best in May through September. Corn is one of those vegetables you can grill, boil, or roast, and it always tastes delicious.
A ripe cucumber is firm to the touch. A cucumber that is beginning to soften is past its peak and beginning to go bad. They are in peak season from July to August.
A ripe eggplant has a deep purple, shiny surface. Gently press your thumb on the eggplant to see if it leaves an indentation. If the indentation disappears quickly, then it is ripe. The peak season for eggplant runs from July to October.
Green peppers are at their peak from July to September. A ripe green pepper is deep, dark green with a shiny surface. When gently squeezed, it should yield a bit beneath the pressure but remain firm. Avoid a green pepper with cuts or bruises on it: These are signs that it is softening and overripe.
The peak season for this summer veggie falls between June and August. A ripe zucchini is solid green all over. It should be somewhat firm and a little flexible. Softness is a sign that a zucchini is beginning to go bad and should be cooked or eaten soon.
Pick Your Own Veggies This Summer
If you have a vegetable garden, then you don't have to travel far to get some delicious additions to your salads. However, if you don't have a vegetable garden, there are other ways to get your veggies without traveling to the grocery store. Going to a local farmers' market is one idea. Another idea is visiting a local farm and picking your own vegetables. Some vegetables to look for include sweet corn, snap beans, onions, eggplant, and cucumbers. Look online to find pick-your-own vegetable farms in your area. Also, check out the farm bureau website for your state to see the local harvest calendar.
Enjoy your summer veggies, and thanks for reading. - Alan