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Relatives of the peach, apricots are delicate, delicious, and highly nutritious early summer treats. Apricots have a fairly short growing season—about ten weeks. They can usually substitute in recipes that call for peaches or nectarines; you can also make a wonderful fruit salsa by combining them with peppers, onion, and a dash of cumin.

Although grapes are available year round, some varieties can only be obtained during certain seasons (American varieties, for example, can be found only in September and October). Toss some grapes into Garden Chicken Salad for a tasty lunch or dinner entrée. Or have a taste of the season with Apple-Grape with Raspberry Pie for a special dessert.


Mangoes are probably one of the messiest fruits you'll ever eat—but their wonderful fragrance and fantastic flavor make them well worth the effort. Although they are not as common in the United States as they are in tropical regions (where they are eaten in quantities as apples are here), the increasing popularity of Caribbean and Indian cuisines are putting mangoes in the spotlight.

Pineapple is available year-round, but March through June is when supplies are at their peak. Choose a pineapple that smells sweet and is firm to the touch. Try Grilled Fish with Pineapple Salsa for a delicious dinner with the feel of the islands or Fresh Fruit Compote for a refreshing side to any meal or a light dessert.

Delicious alone, with other kinds of fruit, or as the star of many of our favorite Crisco recipes, fresh strawberries are a must-have this time of year. You'll never have too many strawberries with our wonderful recipes (Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Glazed Pie, and Strawberry Muffins), but if you do have some extra, strawberries freeze beautifully.

Since there are over 7,500 varieties, apples are in season most of the year. But crispy fall apples are part of the joy of cooler weather. Whether you need apples for snacks or for baking, there's a perfect apple out there.

Perfect for packing in lunches, grapes are plentiful in the fall. Look for Thompson seedless or typical green grapes, flame seedless, and red globe (seeded) grapes. Of course, with so many varieties, grapes are generally available year-round.


Because of the many varieties of pears, they are pretty much available year-round; however, August through October is the height of pear season. Varieties of pears you're likely to find in your grocery store at this time of year are Bartlett, Anjou, and Bosc.

Persimmons are native to Japan, and are as widely eaten there as oranges are here. These beautiful orange-red fruits are available in September, and reach their peak in November-December.

This gorgeous red fruit is available from autumn through December. There are several varieties—the "Wonderful" being the most commonly available in the United States. Unlike persimmons, pomegranates are picked ripe.

Autumn is the time of year when our thoughts turn to jack-o'-lanterns and homemade pies.


Also known as an "alligator pear" or a "butter pear," this tropical fruit is more commonly regarded as a "vegetable" because of flavor, which tends to complement savory dishes (unlike most fruits, the avocado loses sugar content as it ripens).

Bing or Sweet CherriesBing or Sweet Cherries
The supply of fresh Bing cherries peaks in June and July. While sour cherries are usually used in baking, sweet cherries are delicious on their own, or chopped as a delightful addition to green salads. Of course, they're also delicious in fruit salads, with yogurt, and as decorations on iced cakes or on anything with whipped cream.

Blueberries are in season now. They're delicious fresh or in baked goods, sprinkled over cereal and ice cream, or eaten by the handful... you get the picture. Blueberries also freeze beautifully and are a welcome reminder of warmer days if you save them for the dreary days of winter. We have a blueberry recipe for breakfast: Blueberry Orange Muffins, a blueberry recipe for dessert: Blueberry Pie, and a blueberry recipe for any time of day: Blueberry Bread.

Enjoy this year's harvest of peaches eaten fresh; sliced over breakfast cereal, yogurt, or ice cream; in fruit salads; cooked in pies; or as the highlight of this Seasonal Fruit Cobbler.

While watermelon has been in season since about March, it's usually about this time of year that the glossy green rinds and sweet red flesh begin to beckon us to indulge in this summer pleasure.

Also known as Minneola Tangelos, this tangerine-grapefruit hybrid is available only for about three weeks in January. Medium to very large in size, these bell-shaped, deep- to red-orange fruits are incredibly sweet and juicy (so juicy that many growers pack bibs with customers' orders!). They are seedless, which makes breeding and growing them very difficult (hence the very short period of availability).

Brighten bleak winter days with a taste of the tropics! Papayas are now fairly easy to buy all year round, thanks to their year-round growing season and easy shipping. Try this delicious recipe for Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing; toss in some cubed papaya for a different taste!

Bananas, unlike most fruits and vegetables, ripen best after they're picked. The typical yellow or Cavendish variety is in season all year-a good thing considering their popularity. See All About Bananas to find out more, and try these great recipes: Banana Pudding from Mama Dip, Banana Cream Pie, Banana Date-Nut Bread, and Sautéed Bananas.


Use the pungent taste of gingerroot to add an exotic flavor to your cooking. To use, peel the thin tan skin with a vegetable peeler, and then chop or grate as desired. If you have extra, wrap tightly and freeze. The next time you need it for a recipe, you can use it straight out of the freezer. Try Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Salad for a delicious, spicy meal with ginger. Stir-Fried Beef and Vegetables is also a wonderful addition to your dinner repertoire.

Fresh basil and tomatoes are natural companions. Basil should be available at farmer's markets in plentiful supply. Try these delicious dishes to highlight the delicious taste of fresh basil: Slow Roasted Salmon with Pistachio Pesto, Sweet Saki Wasabi Oil and Tunisian Carrot Mash or Garden Vegetable Sauté.


Because they are very labor intensive and require very specific climate conditions, artichokes are not widely grown in the United States. Artichokes can be baked, boiled, microwaved, sautéed, or steamed; you can serve them whole with dipping sauce, or remove the choke and stuff the resulting "cup" with rice, vegetable puree, or chicken salad.

Asparagus is another of spring's treats. Try Grilled Asparagus for a delicious side dish. Pasta with Asparagus is a tasty entrée or side dish, depending on your mood. Asparagus with Citrus Dressing is a refreshing treat.

New PotatoesNew Potatoes
New potatoes are in season this time of year. Unlike older potatoes with thicker skins, new potatoes are characterized by their thin skins.


Although broccoli is available year round, it's most plentiful from October through May. For a scrumptious side dish with an Asian twist, try Pan Braised Broccoli with Ponzu (Japanese Citrus Sauce).

Brussels SproutsBrussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad reputation for being bitter, mushy, and generally inedible when cooked. However, if you buy fresh sprouts and cook them just to the point of tenderness, they are a delicious addition to any meal and a nice alternative to other side dishes.

Rhubarb, also called pie plant, is one of the first vegetables to signal the impending arrival of warmer weather. Welcome spring by trying them in Sumptuous Strawberry Rhubarb Pie or, in a twist on the "pie plant," try rhubarb in Rhubarb Cake with Spice Topping.

Spinach is legendary for its nutritional properties—it's an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and folate. But don't overlook the versatility of spinach. It can be used fresh in salads or cooked in a variety of ways.

Sugar Snap PeasSugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas are wonderful lightly steamed and in dishes such as stir-fries. They also make a great addition to vegetable platters or a crispy snack that kids love-served raw or lightly steamed. Any leftovers make a good addition to lunchboxes. Sautéed Turkey with Spring Vegetables calls for regular peas, but sugar snap peas would work well too.

Fall is the height of beet season, even though they are typically available year-round. In addition to the usual red beets, there are golden beets, white beets, and a beautiful candy-striped beet called chioggia. Try your freshly prepared beets in Harvard Beets. Or, use canned beets to make Fruited Beets or Sweet and Sour Beets.

Cabbage is an inexpensive vegetable that is overlooked in most kitchens. In most markets in the United States, cabbage is the tight-leaf, waxy, compact "head" that ranges in color from very light green to dark green to red. Check out the recipe for Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples.

Swiss chard, kale, and other greens are also at their best in the fall. They are becoming very popular at restaurants and can be cooked the same way as spinach, although they will take a little longer to become limp and tender. Our favorite way to serve cooked greens is over pasta topped with grated Romano cheese. Or try our Special Spinach recipe.

Rutabagas look like giant turnips. In reality, they are a member of the cabbage family and are thought to be a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They have slightly firm flesh and can be prepared the same way as a turnip, although they will take a little longer to cook.

Fall is the best time of year to cook spinach. The flavor is stronger than the young and tender spinach leaves of summer, which are great for salads. After washing the spinach, sauté it quickly with a small amount of Crisco Canola Oil (about 1/2 tablespoon per pound) until it just becomes limp. Add a little ground nutmeg and a clove or two of peeled garlic, cut in half. Season with salt and pepper to taste after cooking.

Root Vegetables
Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and turnips take center stage in the fall. See All About Sweet Potatoes.

With its majestic purple color, you might not realize that eggplant is related to the tomato, another sun-drenched summer favorite. For preparation tips and how to store and select these magnificent beauties, see All About Eggplant.

Green BeansGreen Beans
Fresh green beans are the perfect highlight to many meals, especially in the summer when they're in season and the supply is plentiful. Green beans are ideal for steaming, cooking in the microwave, and including in many delicious recipes. Try Fresh Vegetable Platter for a great snack or side dish. Fresh Vegetable Platter or Zesty Green Beans will also add some pizzazz to your dinner table.

Shell BeansShell Beans
There are two major categories of beans: snap and shell. Most shell beans (lima, fava, soy, and cranberry are the four most popular varieties) are available fresh for only a few months from late spring through early fall, so they make a terrific addition to summer meals. Find our more in All About Shell Beans.

Summer SquashSummer Squash
Straightneck and crookneck are two kinds of similarly-flavored yellow squash. Zucchini is also part of the summer squash family, and there are also some other lesser known varieties that might be available in the summer months. This delicious Vegetable Stir Fry uses both zucchini and yellow squash for a delicious light dinner or side dish. For more see All About Zucchini and All About Squash.

This is the time of year tomato lovers eagerly anticipate. If not in your own backyard, look for them at farmer's markets and roadside stands. Learn All About Tomatoes, and don't miss our delicious Vinaigrette for fresh tomatoes.


Cooking Greens
"Greens" is a generic, catchall term for the leafy green parts of plants from several different groups. They are characterized by their pungent flavors and high nutritional content; included in this category are kale, turnip greens, Swiss chard, beet greens, and mustard greens. Try this recipe for Special Spinach for a tasty side to any meal.

Related to both garlic and onions, the leek is in season from winter on into spring. Smaller leeks will be tenderer. Try Chayotes Rellenos for a beautiful and mouth-watering dish.

Potatoes may be the ultimate in comfort food, and they're also in season this time of year. Clam Chowder is memorable and tasty potato side dish. Another seasonal recipe that's easy to prepare is Roasted Fall Root Vegetables. Find out All About Potatoes.

Winter Squash
Have you ever tried winter squash? This is one of those too-often overlooked foods. Squash with Apples is a truly seasonal acorn squash recipe. Try Squash Custard for an evening treat.

Button mushrooms are generally available year-round. Choose plump, clean mushrooms that are white. For a delicious dish that highlights fresh mushrooms, try Halibut Provençale.

Lime Chiffon Pie
Lime Chiffon Pie
Lime Chiffon Pie
Asparagus And Shrimp with Penne Pasta
Party Shrimp And Vegetable Kabobs
Bacon Crab Mushroom Caps
Hot Crab Dip
Spicy Oven Fried Catfish
Spicy Crab Cakes
Casava Cake
Filipino Fruit Salad
Oriental Omelet
Island Fruit Salad
Shrimp New Orleans Style
Shrimp Pilaf
Chicken a la Old Dutch
Frozen Mocha Pie
Fresh Berry Shortcakes
Café Brulot

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