What’s in season – July

June 6, 2024
what’s-in-season-–-july
What’s in season – July
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Enjoy the best of July’s seasonal food. July is a great time to rest and recharge. We can’t all afford to go away on long holidays, but taking some time out for a lazy picnic in the park, a quick paddle in the sea or just a potter in the garden can be enough to feel revitalised.

Gathering and prepping the fruit and vegetables that are around right now can also be a great avenue for contemplation. Got a punnet of cherries to stone, runner beans to slice, blueberries to pick, or samphire to forage? Take the time to enjoy the quiet monotony of these tasks in the sunshine, then reap the rewards of your gentle effort.

Much of the season’s produce is so simple to serve and enjoy, just as it is, especially when freshly picked. But if you’re looking for something unique, we’ve selected our favourite recipe ideas for doing something a little bit different with your summer harvest.

Fired up for summer flavours? Dive into our July recipes for a month of delicious dinners. But that’s not all! We have a treasure trove of summer recipes at your fingertips, featuring refreshing summer drinks, Perfect for sipping into the long summer evenings, and summer budget recipes which help stretch your grocery budget further while still enjoying seasonal produce.

July season produce

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are in season from July to August. Varying in size these deep blue, almost purple berries have a grey bloom, sweet flavour and are prized for their antioxidant properties. They are usually used alongside other berries in desserts or on their own as a breakfast berry or in baking.

Tip: For blueberry curd, put 200g blueberries and 50g caster sugar in a saucepan. Mix 25ml water with 1 tsp cornflour, then pour over the blueberries. Simmer for 5 mins, squishing the berries a little as you stir. Tip the thickened mixture into a heatproof bowl with the juice and zest of ½ lemon, 50g butter, ½ tsp cinnamon and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Whisk in 2 egg yolks and keep whisking over the heat for around 10 mins, or until the consistency of custard. Push through a sieve into a jug, then pour into a sterilised jar. Will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes 140g. Serve with meringue and double cream lightly whipped with icing sugar and a dash of sherry. Top with more blueberries for a fab summer dessert.

For more inspiration, see our blueberry collection.

2. Runner beans

In season from July to September, these long flat beans need to have the stringy edge peeled off before cooking. Sliced thinly or cut into lozenge-shaped pieces, runners have a sweet flavour that work as an ingredient in a salad or more intricate side dish. Runner beans are usually boiled or steamed but they can also be griddled or barbecued whole then sliced.

Our favourite way to cook runner beans is to slice them into thin ribbons, boil them for 3-4 mins or until tender, and serve with a restrained dollop of clotted cream. For something more everyday, this green bean pasta bake is a wonderful excuse to use up a glut.

Tip: To stop your runner beans being stringy, use a peeler to take a thin strip off each of the sides. You can use the offcuts to make stock.

For more tasty recipes, see our runner bean collection.

3. Samphire

Stock up on samphire from July to August. Flavour-wise, it’s quite similar to asparagus. Try it simmered for 2-3 mins, then tossed in melted butter as a side for fish. Or for something different, go for this modern brunch from Rosie Birkett.

For more recipe ideas, see our samphire collection.

4. Cherries

Ranging from red to purple, sweet to sour, cherries are great raw or cooked or made into jams or preserves. In season from June to July, cherries are cooked in desserts and pair well with almonds and almond flavours.

Fold cherries through thick Greek yogurt with a grating of dark chocolate for a quick dessert, or give Tom Kerridge’s cherry bruschetta recipe a whirl for a stylish starter. We’ve also used cherries in a moreish crumble cake.

Tip: To pit cherries, set a small metal piping nozzle on a board, push the cherry on top slowly and the pip should come out of the top.

For our ultimate selection of recipes, see our cherry collection.

5. Strawberries 

 

Once available in Britain for just a brief period during the summer, strawberries are now a year-round fruit, thanks to imports from warmer climates. However, to let the strawberries withstand the transport time they are picked before they are fully ripe making them less flavourful than if you were to pick them in British strawberry season. Check out our helpful guide on the best strawberry picking farms in the UK to find the best spots for a fun family activity.

Once you have your glut of strawberries blend them into a purée and add to sugar, water and lemon for a fresh strawberry lemonade. Or add fresh strawberries to your breakfasts for a burst of flavour like on our vegan strawberry pancakes. For an impressive no cook dessert that’s perfect for al fresco dining, try our strawberry eton mess cheesecake for a hybrid of two favourite desserts.

More seasonal fruit and veg in July

Seasonal food dates in July:

7 July – World Chocolate Day
Celebrate this indulgent day with the best of the best. See our best vegan chocolate and best dark chocolate reviews.

21 July – National Ice Cream Day
Cool down this summer with our tasty ice creams. See our top 10 ice cream desserts or our vegan ice cream ideas.

25 July – National Wine & Cheese Day
Mix up traditional wine and cheese pairings with our unique recommendations. See our vegan ‘cheese’ review and find out why we’re drinking canned wine this summer.

Other food dates for your diary:

1-7 July – Alcohol Awareness Week 

Cut back on your alcohol consumption this Alcohol Awareness Week by replacing some of your alcoholic tipples with one of our delicious mocktail recipes.

1-14 July – Wimbledon fortnight 

Enjoy the tennis this summer with our Wimbledon recipes.

See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.

More seasonal recipes and information…

Summer recipes
Vegetarian summer recipes
Summer budget recipes
Summer family recipes
Easy summer recipes

What fruit & veg do you enjoy in July? Leave a comment below…

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