Say summer, and my mind goes straight to outdoor grilling and enjoying glorious warm-weather produce. And while we’re still at the beginning of the summer, now’s the moment to make sure you have the best tools for making the most of these peak-season flavors that we anticipate so eagerly. Whole Foods Market is thrilled to partner with kitchenware pros Sur La Table to bring you the scoop on essential summer tools.
Check out our Food Editor Molly Siegler’s top five picks for summer grilling equipment. You might be surprised by a couple of these suggestions. Time to get ready for your best grilling season ever!
Top Tools for Summer Produce
For making the most of summer produce, here are a few of my favorite tools:
Mini Colanders For cherry tomatoes, basil and green beans from the garden, as well as all kinds of berries and cherries, there’s no need to deal with a large colander. This little colander is just the right size. It’s also great for canned summer salad staples like beans, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts. It has very quickly become a new essential in my kitchen.
Cherry Pitter When it comes to preparing cherries in recipes, use a proper pitter and save yourself a lot of trouble. Sur La Table Chef Joel Gamoran agrees: “Not only does using a paring knife take twice as long, but it also tends to shred the flesh of the cherry and waste delicious juice.” And you’re going to need a pitter to try some of our favorite cherry recipes. If you’re looking for more inspiration, sign up for Sur La Table’s class celebrating all things cherries and starring cherries from Whole Foods Market!
Citrus Juicer Fresh citrus juice is a simple addition that can enliven summer’s already juicy flavors. But why squeeze without a juicer when you can get more juice (and no seeds) with the proper tool? Chef Joel agrees, and adds this suggestion when grilling: “After squeezing, throw citrus halves on the grill—flesh side down—and the last remaining bit of juice will caramelize. It makes for a fantastic finishing squeeze over fish or veggies.” I love that tip!
I also love a citrus juicer for making the best, simplest, most refreshing sparkling homemade limeade or lemonade. Squeeze a lemon or lime into a glass, stir in a little agave nectar, add ice, top with fizzy water and cool off.
You can also make zucchini and summer squash “noodle” salads with a peeler—using it to peel off thin ribbons. Try a raw vegetable “pasta” salad or a no-cook zucchini “noodle” salad, and the Y peeler will make quick work and lovely ribbons of your peak-season squash. Chef Joel adds: “In the biz we call Kuhn Rikon’s Y-peelers 'speed peelers', and they're genuinely the ones chosen by most pro chefs. The Y shape protects your fingers when peeling oddly shaped things like ginger or sunchokes. The little circle on the end of the peeler? That’s meant for taking out the little brown spots in potatoes. Genius, right?”
What are your top tools for summer cooking?