Celebrate Pennsylvania Produce Month this August - The Main Course - August 2017

Learn the best ways to choose, store, prepare, cook and preserve fresh produce.

By Monica McQuail

Photo by Linda Schneider.

August may be coming to an end, but vegetable gardens are still in full swing, which means there’s still time to enjoy Pennsylvania Produce Month. In celebration of all things produce, Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers tips on the best ways to choose, store, prepare, cook and preserve fresh produce from local CSAs or farmer’s markets.

From “Can’t Get Enough” Cantaloupe Salsa to Zucchini and Chickpea Salad, you’ll find recipes that are bound to impress your friends at your next dinner party. Try out the Tangy Tomato Strawberry Salad if you can’t keep up with all the tomatoes your garden is producing.

Top Pennsylvania chefs also share their favorite summer recipes, including Marc Vetri, who is known for his award-winning rustic Italian fare, like his Fettuccine With Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions dish. Food writer and canning teacher Marisa McClellan offers her wealth of knowledge with her spicy tomato chutney recipe. Chef Phoebe Canakis, blogger, podcaster and local and organic lover, shares her Chilled Cantaloupe Soup recipe, as well.

There are also how-to guides for grilling, preparing and canning veggies, perfect for Labor Day celebrations. Grilling vegetables might seem like a challenge, but follow tips from chef Kristin Butterworth and you’ll be a grillmaster in no time. Learn which veggies should be rinsed and which should be left out, and perfect your chopping techniques. Then take the produce that is overflowing from the fridge and can or preserve it to enjoy the flavors of summer during the colder months to come.

Those who’d prefer to drink their fruits and veggies can learn about juices, smoothies and mocktails. Even kids will get on board the veggie bandwagon with veggie chips and pureed and glazed veggies. Or, take them to a local farm where they can try all the colorful varieties of carrots, peppers and tomatoes.

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