To kick off the start of Summer, Brava Chef Travis is sharing his guide to seasonal Summer produce! Save these tips for your next trip to the farmer’s market.
Summer is my favorite season. Blue skies and long, hot sunny days slowly followed by postcard-worthy west coast sunsets. Trips to the pool, popsicles and the sound of kids playing outside. What’s not to love?
This summer will be special. I’m cooking at home more than ever before, and my favorite ingredients are in peak season during the summer – ripe heirloom tomatoes, crisp sweet corn, juicy peaches and fresh herbs like basil and parsley. Oh, and the berries! Blackberries and blueberries are abundant and sweet. And they just happen to be some of the healthiest fruits you can eat.
Many summer ingredients like heirloom tomatoes and melons are best raw, so I’ve included some ideas for those, as well. Here’s our guide to summer produce and a few of my favorite summer recipes.
– Brava Chef Travis
Cody Nowak’s Egg in a Basket Pizza took the gold medal in our pizza contest last year. It happens to be topped with fresh arugula. It’s the perfect brunch pizza, but we won’t judge you for making it for breakfast.
BLAT Hot Dogs by Chef George Duran. That’s Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato for inquiring minds.
Make a salad of Roasted Beets with watercress, goat cheese, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
I’m from Texas, so it’s always a good time to make Texas Chili.
Brava Roasted Corn on the Cob with butter and salt. Doesn’t get much better than that. Don’t like it roasted? Try the gentle version instead! Want to switch it up? Try it in a Charred Corn Salad with Bacon and Jalapeño!
No Brava recipe needed for these, I like ‘em raw please! Salads, gazpacho or cool cucumber melon soup.
Brava Chef Erin’s smokey Baba Ganoush!
Sear some halved figs, cut side down, on the metal tray for a few minutes and serve with Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes.
Since everyone is baking bread these days, why not try our Rosemary Focaccia?
If that doesn’t suit you, try a Pizza Margherita with fresh basil, instead.
No Brava recipe needed for these, I like ‘em raw please! Serve them with charcuterie, add to salads or blend them into gazpacho with some tomatoes.
Try air frying at 400°F for 15 minutes for lightly charred okra.
Roasted Fingerlings (halved) are the best potatoes to come out of a Brava.
Stone Fruit (Apricots, Peaches, Plums)
Roasted Peaches with vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle the peaches with some ground cardamom if you have some!
Roasted Zucchini Halves with feta, mint, garlic, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil is the perfect side for roasted meats and seafood. You don’t need to measure the ingredients here. Just let your taste buds and creativity guide you.
Raw vegetable crudites with Brava Romesco Sauce. This recipe calls for jarred roasted peppers, but you can use Brava roasted sweet peppers instead!
I prefer to leave heirloom tomatoes raw. Cooking them tends to dull their bright, nuanced flavors. However, cherry tomatoes are perfect for roasting. Try Chicken Thighs with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes for an easy weeknight dinner. Brava’s Roasted Tomato Salsa is quick, easy and tastier than store-bought salsas.
I like watermelon raw, too. Watermelon pairs nicely with firm salty cheeses like feta or ricotta salata. But nothing beats a slice of cool watermelon with a light sprinkling of sea salt. Is there a purer expression of summer?