Chef Jeff Seizer’s Top 5 Go-To Summer Ingredients

Summer ingredients have arrived and we are here for it. From sweet, ripe stone fruits to rich and flavorful okra, here are Chef Jeff’s go-to Summer ingredients and his favorite ways to use them.

Summer Ingredient #1: Stone Fruits

Reason why Chef loves it: I have to include the whole family — peaches, plums, cherries.  The change from early summer when they are more tart and crisp to later in the season when they are “free stone” and sweet like candy, soft and juicy… nothing compares! Special shoutout for the ripe donut peach. Probably my single most favorite flavor when ripe. Going to the North Carolina farmers’ market and grabbing a sweet sun warmed donut peach is one of life’s special moments!

How Chef uses it: Stone fruits have the magic to go from quick and easy kid’s snacks to desserts, and are even a major component of my savory menu here at Counting House.

Summer Ingredient #2: Heirloom Tomatoes

Reason why Chef loves it: God’s paintbrush had fun with tomatoes. Bright, colorful, acidic and sweet. It’s amazing the differences between each tomato. All of the shapes, sizes and colors!

How Chef uses it: They’re amazing grilled, raw, pickled. I even use the scraps and cook them down to make a light and delicious tomato sauce.

Summer Ingredient #3: Corn

Reason why Chef loves it: What can be said about corn that has not already been said. Amazing product. Especially here in North Carolina where we get corn through September!

How Chef uses it: When it’s in season, I use it many different ways — purées, sautéed in just about anything… I also really love to use them raw for corn salsa!

Summer Ingredient #4: Okra

Reason why Chef loves it: Okra has such a unique flavor and consistency – when used right, it can provide thickness and body for your dish.

How Chef uses it: Great for pickling or cooking. One of my favorite ways to use is to make succotash – the okra provides such a creamy texture and flavor.

Summer Ingredient #5: Summer Squash

Reason why Chef loves it: I’m a big lover of natural beauty, and summer squash is so wonderful and beautiful. It ties in really well to my style of cooking, which is to not do too much to the original ingredients.

How Chef uses it: Perfect just grilled with a little oil and garlic!

So where can I find these delicious ingredients? Chef finds his favorites at the North Carolina State Farmers’ Market near Raleigh. We also source most of the ingredients you enjoy at Counting House from Blue Sky Farms.

And we’ve always got you covered with a menu featuring only the freshest and best ingredients of the season. See what’s on our menu!