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What's in season in August

As summer hits its peak, seasonal fruit and veg in August need minimal cooking to create delicious meals. Juicy tomatoes are a great base for easy summer salads – pair with griddled sweetcorn, creamy mozzarella or fresh basil for classic flavour combinations. For dessert, sweet nectarines, raspberries and plums can be enjoyed raw or blitzed into fruity ice creams, smoothies and cocktails for refreshing treats.

  1. Tomatoes

    Simple salads of fresh tomatoes are a highlight of summer. Look for bright and firm tomatoes with wrinkle-free skins that are not split, and have a sweet, earthy scent. If sold on the vine, choose a thick, strong vine with tightly attached tomatoes. It's best not to put tomatoes in the fridge as this will impair their flavour and texture. This fresh tomato and corn salad is a perfect accompaniment to summer barbecues, or try this slow-roasted tomato salad for intense tomato sweetness.

  2. Courgettes

    This versatile green vegetable is tender and easy to cook. The smaller the courgette, the more flavour it has. Choose ones that are shiny and firm to the touch. Courgettes are in season from mid-June to mid-September so make the most of summer gluts of veg with a colourful courgette salad, or peel into delicate ribbons to top wholemeal pizzas. Courgettes are also good for baking – impress gluten-free guests with a courgette and feta bread, or bake a fragrant almond, rosemary and courgette cake.

  3. Plums

    British plums are wonderfully versatile and can simply be eaten as they are or used in sweet late summer bakes. With a smooth, chalky skin and juicy flesh, this succulent British fruit are in season from August to October. Varying in colour from golden to purple, we recommend trying popular varieties like Victoria and Majorie Seedling. Plums are the star of the show in these simple honey-baked plums with mascarpone or cook a baked plum and coconut crisp for a warming family dessert.

  4. Nectarines

    Although similar in taste and appearance to peaches, nectarines are slightly more acidic, with a smoother skin. Ripe nectarines have no green patches and are firm but give a little when gently squeezed. Keep in a fruit bowl and move to the fridge once ripe. Bake into this nectarine Bakewell traybake or try unusual roasted nectarine and miso pops. Nectarines can also be used in savoury dishes, adding a touch of sweetness to an indulgent prosciutto, nectarine and thyme grilled cheese sandwich.

  5. Raspberries

    Raspberries are a member of the rose family (along with apples, cherries and blackberries) and are made up of small juicy rounds called drupelets. Due to their delicate nature, it’s vital to store raspberries correctly. Keep in the fridge, arranged in a single layer on a sheet of kitchen paper. These refreshing raspberry smoothie pops have a sprinkling of crunchy granola for a pretty summer pud – or blitz berries into an icy raspberry sgroppino cocktail for an adults-only treat.