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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. 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 nectarine, mint and honey ice lollies for a healthy treat. Nectarines can also be used in savoury dishes, adding a touch of sweetness to an indulgent prosciutto, nectarine and thyme grilled cheese sandwich.

  2. 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.

  3. Cherries

    Plump, sweet cherries selected for their deep red colour became popular in Britain in the 15th century. Don’t have a cherry pitter? You can use a chopstick or an icing nozzle to remove the stone. Sweet cherries are a perfect match for dark chocolate. Chocolate, ginger and cherry tiffin is an easy treat to take on a picnic, or roast cherries and serve with glossy chocolate sauce for a dessert ready in less than 15 minutes. 

  4. 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. They're also roboust enough to handle the heat of a barbecue without wilting, so if you fancy a speedy grill option dish up grilled spiced paneer with charred courgettes.

  5. 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. Alternatively, make these spiced pickled plums for a jar of versatile, warming plums that are great in sweet and savoury dishes alike.

  6. 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. This Peach melba summer pudding makes your raspberries go further for a boozy summer pud – or blitz berries into an icy raspberry sgroppino cocktail for an adults-only treat.

  7. Cornish new potatoes

    This variety of new potatoes are an early crop, harvested from the rich soils in Cornwall. They have fluffy skin, a smooth texture and slightly sweet flavour, making them perfect for the ultimate potato salad - our version is taken up a notch with fresh mixed herbs, green beans, cornichons and lettuce, or go simple with a creamy basil and spinach pesto dressing. If you want to crisp them up a little they’re great roasted as loaded hasselback potatoes but you can keep it classic, if you prefer. For something really special there’s always the option to slice them finely and and use to top a pizza or a fluffy focaccia bread - trust us, you won’t regret it.

    Cornish new potatoes