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    Summer Is Here!

    By Debra Morris–

    Summer is here and you know what that means! The summer harvest of fruits and vegetables have arrived this month, so dust off the patio furniture, bring out the barbecue grill and get ready to fire it up! After a long, wet winter, the weather is now perfect for fresh summer vegetables. Sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and tasty summer squash are ready to be added to the grill. Never grilled vegetables? You’re missing something special if you haven’t tried them this way.

    Summer vegetables are available from June through most of September. The freshest vegetables are available at your farmers’ market in lots of special varieties that you won’t find at the grocery store. Toss some sliced Italian zucchini, eight ball squash, bell peppers and onions directly on the grill; or wrap in foil, add a little olive oil and garlic, then add to the grill; or you can cut the vegetables into chunks, slide them onto a skewer and make veggie kabobs.

    Prolific as well as versatile, these summer lovelies come in many forms: squash in yellow crookneck, zucchini, globe, Italian, pattypan, and other delicious varieties; peppers in both sweet and hot varieties like bells, Thai chiles, Anaheim, poblano and habanero; eggplant in many varieties as well. And watch for succulent summer tomatoes—cherries, heirlooms and more.

    These fabulous squash, peppers and other early summer veggies come to us directly from those who grew them. Visit farms like Fifth Crow Farm of Pescadero with tables filled to the brim with green beans, eggplant, both sweet and hot peppers of all kinds, summer squash and early tomatoes. 

    Happy Boy Farms out of Freedom, near Watsonville, offer up their organic vegetables like summer squash, succulent summer tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant.

    Valley Bee Farm from Fresno brings a variety of eggplant, a rainbow of bell peppers, fragrant summer herbs, yellow and green summer squash and luscious tomatoes.

    So, bring a big reusable shopping bag to the farmers’ market and pick up some of the best squash, peppers and other veggies. Here’s to good summer eatin’, fresh from your local farmers’ market.

    Grilled Summer Vegetables in Foil

    2 summer squashes (zucchini, yellow or other), cut into chunks
    2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
    1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into chunks
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1 clove garlic, minced

    In a large bowl, toss all ingredients in olive oil. Divide vegetables onto two large pieces of heavy-duty foil; wrap tightly. Place on the grill over indirect medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes.

    Recipe: Debra Morris, PCFMA 

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Check out the PCFMA website for recipes, information about farmers’ markets throughout the region and for much more: