Everyone knows the best meals are those made with fresh, local ingredients, and luckily there’s plenty to be found right here on Vancouver Island. 

See also: 12 Greater Victoria farmers’ markets you need to visit this summer

Here’s a collection of recipes made with seasonal produce to guide your farmers’ market shopping this summer:

Ingredient: Strawberries

Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream

Fresh strawberries and ice cream are both synonymous with summer. Combining the two will literally make the clouds part and birds sing.



What you will need:

  • 4 cups finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Optional, but recommended: 2 tablespoons vodka

Ingredient: Cucumbers

Recipe: Cucumber Dill Salad



Fresh herbs are also in season! This is an easy-to-make, clean-tasting salad that’ll feel right at home at a summer potluck.

What you will need:

  • 4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 small while onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried dill, or to taste

Ingredient: Beets

Recipe: Roasted Baby Beets

Simple and sweet with just a touch of fresh rosemary, this recipe lets garden-fresh beets shine.


What you will need:

  • 30 baby beets (each 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; about 5 bunches), unpeeled, all but 1 inch of tops trimmed, rinsed
  • 4 large fresh rosemary sprigs, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Ingredient: Carrots

Recipe: Carrot and Ginger Soup

Soup doesn’t have to be relegated to winter, especially not when you’ve got a gorgeous bundle of carrots just begging to be blended with coconut milk and aromatic ginger.


What you will need:

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 4 cups sliced carrots
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk or regular milk

Ingredient: Chard

Recipe: Baked Chard Chips


This recipe calls for garlic and chili powder, but you can dress your chard up with whatever spices you desire. Personal favourite: curry and cumin.

What you will need:

  • 3 large Swiss chard leaves
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of chile powder

Ingredient: Spinach

Recipe: Sausage, Spinach and Apple Breakfast Sandwiches

Perfect way to start the day. Look for apples and eggs at the market, too!

What you will need:

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces turkey breakfast sausage
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

Ingredient: Arugula

Recipe: Spaghetti with Lemon, Arugula, and Prosciutto

This spicy leafy green can be used to add a little kick to nearly any salad or pasta dish. This minimalist recipe puts it front and centre.


What you will need:

  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon, plus 1/2 for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 oz. prosciutto
  • 4 cup arugula
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredient: Blackberries

Recipe: Blackberry Pie

Canned filling doesn’t hold a candle to its fresh-picked compatriot. Serve with the strawberry ice cream above to experience pure bliss.


What you will need:

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling

  • 2 pints blackberries (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes