June - My Favorite Time of Year
In June, spring blossoms into summer, yielding a cornucopia of seasonal delights. With so many wonderful tastes to offer, this has to be the best month of the year; especially for picnics, barbecues and fun-filled family meals.
Bridging spring and summer, cherries are the ideal warm-weather finger food. Look for dark, firm fruit with bright, glossy surfaces. Serve them chilled but not ice cold, because that kills most of their flavor.
Cantaloupe is at its prime in late spring and summer. For perfect ripeness, choose heavy, fragrant melons that give slightly when pressed at the base. Unripe melons will ripen at room temperature. Served with a spritz of lemon or lime juice and a sprinkling of salt to draw out its delicate flavor, cantaloupe makes a refreshing breakfast or dessert.
For a satisfying, healthy lunch, slice a melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill the hollow with cottage cheese, tuna salad, or chicken salad. For an elegant appetizer, wrap slices of prosciutto around thin cantaloupe wedges. Cantaloupe is low in calories and rich in vitamins A and C.
A number of specialty onions become available this month, to the delight of onion-lovers who wait impatiently for the short sweet-onion season to arrive. Georgian Vidalias are so sweet and delicious that avid fans rhapsodize about eating them like apples. (We don't recommend this for the faint of palate.) Maui onions, from Hawaii, are also very sweet and mild, as are Walla Walla onions from Washington State. Due to their increasing popularity in recent years, these onions are becoming more widely available, though many are offered only through mail-order sources.
An unusual green often treated as an herb, sorrel has a slight lemon flavor and a refreshing sharpness. It's at its best late in the spring. Look for fresh green leaves without any brown. Sorrel lends itself to soups and purees and goes especially well with eggs.
Whatever your favorite tastes may be, be sure to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh tastes and sunny skies that June has to offer!