5-Ingredient Recipes to Make the Most of Summer Produce

5-Ingredient Recipes to Make the Most of Summer Produce

At the farmers market, July and August feel like the big game, the Oscars, the proud wave from the gold medal podium—the moment when the spotlight shines brightest. There are more varieties of squash and shades of tomato than you thought possible and enough bounty to ensure your tote bags are overflowing. That’s where we come in. What follows are five-ingredient recipes (beyond the basic pantry staples, like salt and pepper) strategically designed to bring out the best in your produce with the least amount of effort. They’re simple and uncomplicated on purpose; when you’ve got berries this sweet and peaches this juicy, you don’t need to overthink things. Plus, we’re sharing our best tips for embracing abundance and preventing food waste for those times when you bought just a little too much (it happens). So go big and go home—we’ll show how to make the most of your haul.

What’s in your bag?


Also known as courgette (French for “little squash”), zucchini can be green or yellow, big or small. But whatever market you visit, there’s bound to be a lot of it. We’re turning ours into dinner with a garlicky, dilly sour cream.

And for the extras: Sauté thin slices in olive oil until golden brown and falling apart, let cool, then freeze. It’s the perfect addition to soups and sauces, and there’s no thawing required.


These tiny jewels—covered in tiny hairs, have you noticed?—can become a whole lot more than dessert. Go savory with juicy pork chops, doused in a red chile chimichurri.

And for the extras: Place raspberries in a jar and cover with your booze of choice. Seal and let sit for one week. Strain and store berries in the fridge, and reserve booze at room temperature. Combine ½ cup spiked berries and 1 shot infused booze in a collins glass filled with ice and top with seltzer.


Insert joke about the William Carlos Williams poem here. Beyond a handheld snack, this stone fruit is delightful compote-ified with earthy cumin. Add to a cheese plate or turkey sandwich.

And for the extras: We love chef and cookbook author Abra Berens’s preserves. Scrub, quarter, and pit plums. Cover them with salt in a glass jar. Tightly close the jar and shake each day for about a week (a brine will form). Keep chilled up to 1 month. To serve, rinse then thinly slice the plums.


A ripe peach should be so juicy, you have to stand over the kitchen sink to take a bite. Or, you could save your shirt and make a vibrant salsa instead, to heap over charred chicken.

And for the extras: Make a quick and easy crisp. Pit and slice peaches (no need to peel), and nestle the slices into individual ramekins. Sprinkle them with sugar, top with a handful of your favorite granola tossed with a teaspoon of oil, and bake at 350° for 20–30 minutes until jammy and bubbly.


Is there any market stand more popular than the tomato stand? We think not. This fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) needs little more than salt to soar, but a few more ingredients will get you to a knockout steak that you’ll look forward to each year.

And for the extras: After just a few minutes on the grates, tomatoes develop a welcome char and concentrated sweetness that’s hard to beat. Smash some directly onto garlic-rubbed toast for a riff on pan con tomate, or use them as a smoky addition to a late-summer Bloody Mary.


A strawberry a day keeps the summertime sadness away. We know there are many recipes competing for your carton’s attention, but if you make only one this season, let it be crisp and jammy pavlova.

And for the extras: Just toss sliced strawberries with sugar (try coconut or maple sugars to add another layer of flavor) and let sit for about 30 minutes. Serve saucy macerated berries over buttery pancakes or fudgy brownies.


Petite in size and powerful in flavor, blueberries are beloved for their unabashed tartness. That’s what makes them so stellar for desserts, like a cheekily named fool (ours has toasted coconut for good measure).

And for the extras: If you have surplus, blueberries are a no-brainer to tuck away for later: Simply spread them out on a plate or sheet pan and freeze until firm, then transfer to an airtight bag or container.


  • Lead Editors: Emma Laperruque, Antara Sinha, Kelsey Youngman
  • Food Editors: Rachel Gurjar, Zaynab Issa
  • Creative Director: Caroline Newton
  • Visuals: Jose Ginarte, Marc Williams, Isa Zapata
  • Contributors: Zoe Denenberg, Sarra Sedghi, Sam Stone, Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme, Ella Quittner, Carly Westerfield
  • Production Editor: Alma Avalle
  • Recipe Editor: Liesel Davis
  • Social: Esra Erol, Olivia Quintana, Urmila Ramakrishnan
  • Research: Ryan Harrington
  • Copy: Brian Carroll, Greg Robertson
  • Special Thanks: Sonia Chopra, Serena Dai, Sasha Levine

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