Fresh fare

The season's best meals are at your fingertips when you use fresh produce

Does your mouth water at the mere mention of plump, juicy berries? Or do you find yourself salivating over thoughts of buttered, barbecued corn? Whatever gets your taste buds going, the time is ripe for cooking with the season’s freshest fare. We’ve dished up 25 delicious recipes featuring produce at its prime this time of year: peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, cauliflower and eggplant. So hit your favourite farmer’s market, backyard garden, or the fruit and vegetable aisle of your local supermarket and whip up these tasty dishes, all triple-tested in the Chatelaine Test Kitchen.


There are few things more delicious than a ripe, juicy peach. To pick the perfect peach, look for bruise-free skins and a creamy background colour. The flesh of the fruit should yield to gentle pressure. If firm, they can be left out on the counter to ripen.

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Blueberries are not only a scrumptious summer treat, they’re also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre. Plus, the deep pigment that gives these berries their gorgeous blue hue is because they’re chock full of antioxidants.

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Plump tomatoes are bursting with great flavour, as well as vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. When selecting your tomatoes, choose those that are deep in colour, heavy for their size and firm but not hard. The smell should be fragrant.

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To select the ideal cauliflower, look for heads that are firm, compact and creamy white with bright green leaves. Avoid brown spots and crumbling florets, which suggest the product is old. Cauliflower should have a faint cabbage smell and will keep well refrigerated for up to 10 days.

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There are many varieties of eggplant, ranging from the common dark purple ones to those that are yellow and white. Choose firm, smooth-skinned eggplants that feel heavy for their size and avoid those with soft or brown spots. Eggplants should be stored in a cool, dry place—but not refrigerated—and used within a day or two of purchase.

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