The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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The June Seasonal Food Guide

When I first began this guide, I remember thinking about how exciting it would be when summer finally arrived – those heady months of abundant produce and riotous colors, so prolific and diverse as to nearly cause an anxiety of choice. What I didn’t realize at the time was that sleuthing out unusual seasonal produce when the pickings are slim would actually become part of the fun. Now I have the opposite issue: one of too much choice. I will never be able to cram all of the glorious abundance of the season into the next three months! But I will do my best.

We have undoubtedly arrived. There is that formality of summer not really beginning until June 21st, but do we really subscribe to that? Not when cherries, apricots, plums, summer squash, watermelon and tomatoes start showing up at the markets – and they’re not being shipped here, abysmally unripe, from Mexico, Argentina or Chile. This is the truest hallmark of the beginning of the season, and it is here, cold spring be damned. There’s only one thing you have to promise me: you will absolutely be that person who stands over a kitchen sink with all kinds of messy fruit dripping down your face and arms because you just ate the heck out of a peach (or a plum, or a gargantuan slice of watermelon). Now go on and go to town.


Sweet Corn

SWEET CORN, the American classic, is actually a cultivated wild grass. Thought to have been domesticated almost 9,000 years ago, it’s a plant that’s been on quite a journey. Now, corn is the number one crop produced in the United States – although much of the crop is destined for animal feed and industrial use rather than our summer eating pleasure. (King Corn is worth checking out.) Our cultivated sweet corn is a long ways off from the grain consumed by American natives centuries ago. Bred for its sweetness and higher sugar content, it’s an iconic and essential part of the summer table.



Poblano Chiles

POBLANO PEPPERS are a mild chile native to Pueblo, Mexico, hence their name. Dried, they are referred to as ancho chiles. They’re best known for their starring role in the Mexican dish Chile Relleno. They can be incorporated anywhere you’d like a mild chile flavor.



Squash Blossoms

SQUASH BLOSSOMS are the flowering end of any summer squash, though the kind typically found in markets is the young zucchini blossom. Their flavor is a lovely hybrid of delicate floral sweetness and subtle zucchini flavor. They’re frequently stuffed with cheese, battered and fried, but can also be added to soups and quesadillas or even scrambled eggs! You can pick the blossoms right out of your garden, too – especially great with the infertile male squash blossoms that produce no fruit.




CHERRIES: In early spring, cherry blossoms are the one of the surest and loveliest signifiers of the coming of spring and, eventually, summer. Intensely sweet, juicy and flavorful, cherries are one of the greatest treats of the season. Most common among sweet cherries is the Bing variety, pictured above. Chokecherries are North America’s wild relative to the cultivated variety, which all come from Europe. Cherries are so perfect eaten out of hand that it’s hard to tuck them into any recipe, but they are really great in the rustic French dessert clafoutis, and of course, our American classic, cherry pie.




BASIL’s name comes from the Greek for king, and rightly so, given its prominence in Mediterranean and especially Italian cooking, as well as the cuisines of India and Southeast Asia. While it can be found in the markets year round, it’s especially well-suited to summery dishes, and even works as a lovely partner with summer fruits, such as peaches and watermelons. You can also substitute basil where you might find cilantro – a great thing for those with an aversion to the herb.




SQUID, often called by its Italian name, calamari, are a 10-legged cephalopod related to octopus. They are mild, vaguely sweet, high in minerals and relatively cheap at the markets, making them a great choice for summer barbeques.



Wild Arugula

WILD ARUGULA is a sharper, spicier sibling to the more familiar garden arugula, although the term wild is something of a misnomer, because both are cultivated. It’s smaller, less leafy and more slender than common arugula, with an intensely concentrated, peppery flavor. Enliven your pestos, summer salads and main courses with this nutritive green.




APRICOTS: Richly golden with a pinkish blush, apricots are another cousin in the all-star stone fruit family. Cultivated since pre-history, they’re thought to be native to China. Softly sweet and faintly tart, their season is brief and their temperament delicate.


  • Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie - I’ve been loving June produce already! Was able to get my hands on some wild arugula, zucchini blossoms, and french radishes. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane - I know I’ve said this before, but I adore your seasonal guides. So much so, that I curse myself (daily?) for not coming up with the genius idea!

    Squash blossoms and wild arugula have pretty much taken up permanent summer residence in my garden. Looking forward to seeing what you do with yours!ReplyCancel

  • Jacky - I love your seasonal guides. This just made my day.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - Wow, where to begin? So many wonderful ingredients! Your photos look great. My arugula is just about ready to harvest so I look forward to your post on that. Squash blossoms- yes please! This is going to be a great month.ReplyCancel

  • leela - can’t wait to get my hands on these yummy foods!ReplyCancel

  • Mika - I love your seasonal guide too…I can’t wait to read the recipes and to see your pictures… ^_^ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - I look forward every month to your seasonal guide! It gives me so much inspiration.

    Maybe the too much variety problem is why I’m having so much trouble choosing recipes lately. Hmm…ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Franzen ` - yay for summer produce :) I am coming in August and cant wait to see all the markets yipeeReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - Checking out your seasonal food guides is right on par with the excitement I feel at the Farmer’s Market. Really looking forward to these great recipes. Never thought of grilled squid before!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - I agree – where to start with all of the summer season’s bounty? I look forward to all of your recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - Love the squid inclusion with all the rest of summer’s delicious bounty. And yes, I’m definitely that girl with juice merrily dripping down my face and arms as I lustily bite into summer fruit!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth fr AsianinAmericamag - I love this post! What is summer without cherries? I look forward to more summer recipes and articles. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Erica Julson - I am really looking forward to the cherry and arugula grain salad! Sounds delish.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - I’ve never seen a prettier looking squid, that is for sure. Summer is my favorite time to cook – so excited for these recipes! xxReplyCancel

  • Allison - Wonderful post! I’m going to share it on my facebook page!ReplyCancel

  • Gabriel - Love your shots and the guide in general it is beautiful. In full disclosure I’m the communication arm of Full Circle, an organic delivery service here in Seattle. I just recently made arugula oil to accent a spring/summer dish that works on anything. Keep up the great work!ReplyCancel

  • Tine - Can’t wait for the recipes!
    Corn corn, sweet corn! Mmm…ReplyCancel

  • nancy - And so it begins…yay, summer! I’m excited for all of the foods you’ve featured, maybe the squash blossoms most of all because I have such fond memories of my mom frying up blossoms from her garden when I was little. And they are so darn cute.ReplyCancel

  • bianca - I love the guides- I really do!

    I could subside on cherries and corn alone, all june long- I love them both so much!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly(unrivaledkitch) - this is such a beautiful breath of fresh air. I love all of these things and most of them are in my fridge right now. Your photos are stunning. I’m so glad I found this blog. gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • G. - i love june produce and you have made them all shine! just beautiful! xo.ReplyCancel

  • Eating with my eyes | Season with Reason - […] Riding the train down to DC, and I’ve been feasting on a gorgeous post from Year in Food – June Seasonal Food Guide. […]ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - These are always my favorite posts. Not only are they beautiful, but they are educational as well.

    On a separate note, we just came back from California, where we ate three big bags of fresh cherries. We just couldn’t help picking them up from the stands on the side of the road. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Your food photography is absolutely stunning. I especially like how you captured the freshness of the calami. Simply beautiful! ( oh and I adore chile lime grilled corn :DReplyCancel

  • kankana - All of them sounds so yummy :) Looking forward to Kimberley !ReplyCancel

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie - Great recipe and photos! I tend to follow the farmer’s markets and find that it’s the best way to keep up with what’s in season :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cookie and Kate - I absolutely adore the concept of this post and your beautiful photos. Brava!ReplyCancel

  • Grilled Squid Salad » The Year In Food - […] This Grilled Squid Salad recipe is part of The June Seasonal Food Guide. […]ReplyCancel

  • Holiday Weekends, Etsy, Recovery Salads » The Year In Food - […] This Cherry, Arugula + Wild Rice Salad is part of The June Seasonal Food Guide. […]ReplyCancel

  • THE JULY SEASONAL FOOD GUIDE » The Year In Food - […] summer! Summer summer summer. As mentioned in last month’s guide, it will be impossible to get through the amazingly abundant produce overflowing at markets […]ReplyCancel

  • Grilled Squid Salad « Siren SeaSA - […] again have a recipe from Kimberley Hasselbrink of The Year in Food.  Kimberley put squid on her seasonal food guide for June, right when squid season reopened, because she is smart like that.  You should definitely read her […]ReplyCancel

  • Seasonal Sensations | La Prima Food Group - […] flavors of summer?  For a better idea of what to include in your dining to-do list visit “The Year in Food“, a beautiful food photography blog by Kimberley Hasselbrink, that offers great insight and […]ReplyCancel

  • Ancha - beautiful IndonesiaReplyCancel

  • scarlet - everyone loves meReplyCancel

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