Summer is the season to forgo the heavy pastas and stews in favor of lighter, fresher fare. And what’s lighter and fresher than produce? Farmers’ markets can run quite pricey, and your average supermarket’s selection can often be lacking (and just generally sad-looking). Luckily, there exists a happy medium: Trader Joe’s, of course. And thanks to a new podcast episode, we know exactly what to scoop up from the produce aisle on our next visit to the store. Take a peek at our newly updated shopping lists, courtesy of recommendations from TJ’s produce category manager, Jack Salamon, plus the recipes we plan to make with the ingredients.
Organic Carrots of Many Colors
Roast these multicolored veggies for a side dish that’s as sweet and flavorful as it is vibrant. Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers has a recipe for burnt carrots that is a winner—especially when the caramelized carrots are balanced out with light labneh. Psst: Yes, Organic Carrots of Many Colors is the official name.
This just-released item is a new favorite of Salamon’s. With its feathery top, it barely looks like cauliflower, but the versatility of the vegetable is the same. Spoon Fork Bacon’s spicy roasted cauliflower recipe is perfect for a casual dinner when you’re in a snacking mood. Served over a bowl of hummus with plenty of warm pita, it’s comfort food.
“I’m already getting emails from customers anxiously asking, ‘Hey, when are the figs coming this year?’” said Salamon. Don’t wait on this purchase: Trader Joe’s only carries them at the height of the season, starting in mid-to-late July for about six weeks. A summertime favorite is fig and ricotta crostini—and no one does it better (or more artistically) than Athena Calderone. Make her recipe as an appetizer for your next alfresco fete.
A big hit on the West Coast, these subtly spicy veggies are great blistered quickly and served with a sprinkling of sea salt as a crunchy snack. But if you want something more filling, we love Feed the Swimmers’s recipe for Montauk penne. This pasta dish makes the most of fresh vegetables and seafood for an easy weeknight dinner that will feel like a total luxury.
Brussels Sprout Stalks
Okay, so this may be a fall item, but given that it’s one of TJ’s most popular ones, it can’t hurt to pick up a stalk or two now. Julia Sherman of Salad for President has the right idea for a summery brussels sprouts recipe: a raw shredded salad topped with Pecorino and olive oil. No heat required.
See more Trader Joe’s stories:
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All Your Burning Trader Joe’s Questions Answered
I Use These Trader Joe’s Sauces on Literally Everything