And, as "Early Show" lifestyle contributor Katie Lee demonstrated, it can be quick and easy. She served up dishes whose recipes bring out the full flavor of the produce you choose.
Zucchini, tomato, eggplant, corn, peaches, plums, and nectarines are all ripe and ready to eat right now!
You can go to LocalHarvest.org, type in your zip code, and it will bring up all your local farmer's market.
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
No Cook Tomato Basil Pasta Salad
Tastes like summer!
1 pound fusilli
1 pound ripe tomatoes, diced
Handful fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Parmesan, grated
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Add pasta and pasta water and toss to combine. Top with Parmesan and serve.
This is one of my favorite summer salads. It is so light and refreshing and looks beautiful. Plus, it's super easy!
1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Use a mandolin to slice the zucchini paper thin. Arrange zucchini pieces, each piece slightly over-lapping the next, on a serving platter. Scatter fresh mint over the zucchini and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.
Raw Corn and Black Bean Salad
4 ears of corn, cut from the cob
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds removed if you want it less spicy)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, mix corn, black beans, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno. Toss with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make vinaigrette: whisk all ingredients together until emulsified.
Ice Cream w/ Stone Fruit
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 nectarines, sliced
2 plums, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
Vanilla ice cream
In a medium bowl, combine fruit with sugar. Refrigerate for two hours, until the juices from the fruit have become syrupy. Serve over ice cream.