Of course you want to soak up every moment of the fleeting Montana summer. Barbecuing is a great way to get a bit more time outside—and the grill doesn’t require meat! Here are three vegetables you can approach in a new way this summer season, and some simple and easy preparations to get you started on your next summer adventure.
JUNE: BOK CHOY
This nutrient-dense green is sure to freshen up your summer routine. It can be thrown in a stir-fry, used as a salad green, or cut into one-inch slices and packed for a hike with the family. It can be eaten raw or cooked: Both ways are tasty. These leafy greens are particularly high in vitamin A and the antioxidant vitamin C, but the stem—similar to a celery stick—is also for eating. Pro tip: Prep your bok choy as soon as you get it home so it’s ready whenever you want it. Chop the greens and slice the white stems. The greens will be ready for a stir-fry or salad, and the white sticks can be paired with hummus or nut butter.
JULY: SUMMER SQUASH
Like bok choy, summer squash is versatile. You can chop, slice, or spiralize it; it can be sautéed, baked, or grilled. Keep an eye out for a variety of summer squash called Flying Saucer, shaped just as the name suggests. As with other varieties of summer squash, Flying Saucer can easily be chopped and thrown on the grill for summer cooking.
Montana farmers are as innovative as they are passionate. An eggplant from a local farm is probably a little bit thinner and longer than what you see at the grocery store. These local varieties are Asian-style eggplant. Eggplant is most available later in the summer, particularly in August. While eggplant can be prepared in a handful of ways, we recommend cooking it in a grill basket.