CUCUMBERS

These are great for taming the heat in salsas. Combine with chopped jalapeños, mangoes, and orange bell peppers, and serve with pita chips. Slice cukes into sticks, arrange on a tray with carrots and jicama, and serve with guacamole or hummus. Or make cucumber boats and fill with herbed goat cheese.

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MELON

Cantaloupe and honeydew work wonders in cool treats. Purée and add seltzer or sparkling cider for a refreshing drink. Or make a sweet-salty appetizer by topping melon chunks with thinly sliced prosciutto and Asiago cheese; spear with a toothpick to hold the trio together.

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ARUGULA

Tossing arugula with something sweet like orange sections or raspberries balances this green's peppery kick. Add diced red onion and a white-balsamic vinaigrette to create a savory summer salad. Or fill a spinach tortilla with arugula, smoked salmon, and cream cheese.

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CORN

Find a local source and eat it quickly; once corn is picked, its sugars start turning to starch. Steam or grill until tender, then season with roasted tahini mixed with fresh herbs or a smoky pepper spice. Another idea: Mix cooked kernels with diced red bell pepper, chopped fresh basil and chives, toasted pine nuts, a little lime juice, and salt and pepper.

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