Washington, D.C. Late Summer Produce Guide

July 9, 2014 8:00 AM

credit: JAY DIRECTO/AFP/GettyImages

There’s nothing quite like a meal made from scratch. Gone are the unpronounceable ingredients, strange tastes and odd textures. If you’re looking for some new inspiration for late summertime meals, check out this list of the best D.C.-area late summer produce from corporate executive chef Jason Miller and discover a new recipe to add to your culinary repertoire.

Jason Miller 
Corporate Executive Chef
Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market
600 Franklin St.
Alexandria, VA 22341

Jason Miller is the corporate executive chef at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, a gourmet specialty food retailer located in the DC area. His responsibilities include the overseeing of the culinary operations of the brand, menu development, food safety, research and development, product sourcing and catering production. Balducci’s offers a variety of fresh produce, prime meats and seafood as well as catering services and its own private label foods. According to Chef Miller, the best late summer produce for the Washington DC area includes:

  • Figs
  • Blackberries
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Peppers
  • Corn

Not sure how to incorporate these items in your meals? Chef Miller provides two recipes, one for an appetizer and one for a salad, that combine the DC area’s best late summer produce into an exquisite combination of flavors. Try one of these tasty meals today.

Related: Best Spring Salads In Washington D.C.

Fresh Burrata with Figs and Basil
Serves 4


  • 8 fresh figs
  • 12 oz fresh burrata
  • 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 leaves fresh basil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut figs into quarters and place on plates.
  2. Cut cheese into quarters and place a portion on each plate. Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley on top of the burrata cheese and figs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Garnish with fresh basil.

Balducci’s Grilled Shrimp Salad with Corn, Watermelon and Avocado
Serves 4-6

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Salad Ingredients:   

  • 10-12 metal or bamboo skewers
  • 2 lbs large uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 3 large ears of corn, husked
  • 1 ciabatta bread, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 container baby arugula
  • 2 cups 1-inch diced watermelon
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes


  1. For the dressing: Whisk first four ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. For the salad: Prepare barbecue or gas grill to medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Place prepared shrimp skewers, fresh corn and bread slices on two large rimmed baking sheets. Brush shrimp, corn and bread with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shrimp on both sides with smoked paprika. Grill corn until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Grill bread slices until browned. Grill shrimp until cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer corn, shrimp and bread to work surface. Cut corn kernels off cobs and place grilled corn kernels in very large bowl. Remove cooked shrimp from skewers and add to bowl. Add arugula, watermelon and avocados to bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to large rimmed platter and serve with bread.

Related: Best Summer Salad Recipes

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.