The summer holidays are here, and with them, lots of picnics outdoors! This month’s meal ideas are all about making the most of summery ingredients to keep cool and enjoy the flavours of fresh local produce while it’s straight from the fields. Much better for our planet than relying on fruit and veg that’s been shipped or flown in from around the world! Get your August meal plans sorted with our tasty suggestions for using up fresh ingredients this month.
Fruit and veg to enjoy in August
According to the handy Vegetarian Society guide, these are the fruit and veg we can look forward to enjoying in August:
Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Damsons, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Greengages, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Loganberries, Mangetout, Marrow, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Plums, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress, White Cabbage
We’ve shared lots of ideas for incorporating some of these tasty fresh ingredients into your cooking below:
As the lettuce harvest gets underway and we’re busy enjoying summer barbecues, August is a great month to whip up refreshing salads with the varieties of lettuce grown here in the UK, such as cos and iceberg. Lettuce can be a bit harder to use up than other veg, as it can’t be frozen (it goes mushy!) – which perhaps explains the shocking statistic that 86,000 whole lettuces are thrown away each day in the UK. But there are plenty of ways to eat it rather than bin it! A salad, of course, makes a great side dish for pretty much anything you’re serving this summer, barbecued or otherwise. If you do end up with lettuce that’s past its best, you can still transform it into our delicious Lettuce soup.
Peppers are an incredibly versatile summer vegetable that you can enjoy raw in salads – they’re great for adding colour, too – or cook in a variety of delicious ways. Bake or barbecue stuffed peppers or slice them up to include in fajitas, chilli con carne or stir-fries (such as our Quick mince stir-fry). For a real summer vibe, why not use up red, yellow and green peppers in our Rainbow fried rice.
A tree laden with plums is a glorious sight, and if you’re lucky enough to have one in your garden, you’ll know the pleasure to be had from picking them by hand. Transform your own fruit or locally bought plums into a delicious fruit crumble or make plum jam to enjoy throughout the winter months. You can even use them in savoury dishes, such as our tasty barbecue pork with plums and orange.
Whether you’re barbecuing corn on the cob on a hot summer’s day or adding crunchy pieces of corn to your favourite pasta dishes, sweetcorn is a real treat at this time of year. You can use fresh sweetcorn in any recipe that calls for canned – use it in our tasty Tuna fishcakes, for example, or these delicious Turkey and sweetcorn burgers. It’s also perfect for adding flavour and interest to pretty much any dish that needs veggies, such as One pot chicken noodles, and you can sprinkle it over pizzas too.
Finishing with a more unusual ingredient, samphire is a saltwater plant that brings a pleasant crunch and salty taste to fish dishes. Try boiling or steaming it for a few minutes and serving it alongside a fillet of your favourite fish and some baby potatoes.
For more August meal plan ideas, simply type your leftover fresh ingredients into our recipe bank to find matching recipes, and don’t forget to check back next month and learn what’s good to eat in September!