Last Licks of Summer

It’s now or never to make the most of summer plants before they’re gone.  Don’t pass up the fresh, vibrant, bright colors that easily add “pop” and nutrients to any dish, cooked or raw!  You can find them at most markets but we love a good farmers market haul where the food tastes freshest and seasonal ingredients are abundant!  Our 5 favs are listed below with a cheat sheet on how to use them so you too can experience all the goodness before they’re gone! 


  • Basil is known as the king of herbs.
  • Use basil as a way to flavor salads, pastas, protein dishes, and grains.  Our favorite is to layer it with sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Two tablespoons of basil is a good source of Vitamins A (skin health!)  and K.
  • Storage Tips: 
    • Puree and combine with olive oil and freeze for later use.  Toss into soups, pasta sauce, in a pan for fish, it’s that easy!
    • Keep in damp paper towel in veggie drawer


  • Zucchini is part of the summer squash family, and VERY abundant right now.  It is mild in flavor and slightly sweet.
  • When shopping, choose zucchini that are small, firm, and unbruised.  Our favorite is the avocado or 8 ball zucchini, have you seen it yet? 
  • Use in a quick stir-fry, add it to any muffin, waffle or pancake recipe or roast it with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Zucchini is low in calories — 1 cup has just 21 calories. A rich source of potassium (de-bloating), vitamins B-2, B-6, Vitamin C and fiber (keeps you full)! 
  • Storage Tips:
    • Keep zucchini refrigerated until ready to use
    • They should be used within two or three days of purchase. (zucchini does not age well!) .


  • Tomatoes are high in fiber and vitamins A and C. They are also rich in antioxidants especially lycopene which protects skin from damage and prevents certain cancers.
  • Tomatoes come in a variety of shapes and colors – always look for untarnished and firm skin
  • Summer is when tomatoes shine with flavors robust and strong.
  • Uses are endless – pasta and pizza sauces, cut fresh to add to salads, or eat alone with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and olive oil.  With cherry or grape tomatoes we pop them in our mouths whole.  Talk about a healthy snack!
  • Storage tips:
    • Keep tomatoes on the counter rather than in the fridge to avoid mealy texture

Snap Peas 

  • Snow peas and sugar snaps are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, Vitamin K, iron and manganese. They contain some protein and calcium too.
  • When shopping, pick sugar snap peas that are bright green, free from yellow, black, mushy or brown spots. They also should be nice and crisp! 
  • Pickle snap peas with vinegar for a zesty, nutritious snack or eat them as is, delicious.  We also chop them up and add them to salads for a refreshing crunch.
  • Storage Tips:
    • Store in a paper bag in the crisper of your refrigerator


  • Mint is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, manganese, and calcium
  • Select fresh mint with perky leaves and stems and free from black or dried parts
  • Fresh mint can brighten up the flavor of any dish or drink – it pairs well with peas, lettuce, strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus.  We make a quick mint tea by steeping mint leaves in hot water with lemon.  Great for digestion. 
  • Storage tips:
    • Store mint in a jar filled with water on the counter – it will keep for about a week
    • Can also store mint in a damp paper towel in the produce drawer of the fridge

Recipe: Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste


  1. Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.
  2. Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula.
  3. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. 
  4. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste