Letter from the Editor

A July Letter from the Editor: Will You Take Our 31-Day Vegetable Challenge?

published Jul 1, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

It’s truly summer at last, and I don’t know about you, but I’m roasting. Roasted, toasted, and hot. I stuffed my freezer with Popsicles yesterday (I still love old-school banana pops!) and my kids basically live in swimsuits now. When it comes to cooking, if I’m not eating a Popsicle, July means really one thing for me and for us at Kitchn: Vegetables first. I am craving the sharp, cold vinegar of green salads, so tender they disappear in your mouth. I am looking forward to that sugary-sweet bite of yellow corn in my pasta. I want all the ripe, velvety tomato slices my plate can support, dripping with olive oil and melting burrata. Here’s that and more — what we have coming up in this month of vegetables first.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

July: Vegetables First

Vegetables are the hottest thing going in this very hot month; of all the months of the year, July is the month where produce finds its peak. You can still find the tender veggies of late spring (radishes, lettuces), but sweet corn and tomatoes (yes, yes, they’re a vegetable too!) are also starting to tumble out of the farmers market. July is the month when I ask myself every week while planning: How can I put vegetables first? How can I enjoy the bounty about to come my way?

My in-laws have a simply amazing garden; it’s their retirement occupation, and my father-in-law maintains an extraordinary compost system alongside their massive beds of tomatoes, peppers, and basil. I could go pick a salad every day of the week (lucky me!). But that bounty is also a challenge to use it, not waste it, and to replace my daily meat or starch habits with vegetables instead. How do I use up all those collard greens my in-laws left in my fridge? The kale, the lettuce? Maybe I ditch the pasta one night and put that grilled chicken on a bed of wilted collard greens. Maybe I char that kale on the grill.

Whether you have in-laws like mine, or a garden of your own, or just a farmers market to explore, will you take a vegetable challenge with us all month long? Over at Instagram (do you follow us there yet?) we’re kicking off 31 Days of Vegetables! From sweet corn to rutabaga, and carrots to leeks, we’re going to be featuring a vegetable every day on Kitchn and on Instagram and we’d love to invite you to try all 31 with us this month.

Credit: Whitney Arostegui/Kitchn
Summer Anne Burton in last week's The Way We Eat.

What’s Happening at Kitchn This Month

What else is coming up in July? Well, first let’s talk about a couple of things that just happened already. First, did you see that saving posts and and recipes is back? If you have saved recipes you love, you should be able to see them under your user profile on site. You also can start saving recipes and other types of posts by clicking the bookmark icon at the top of any post.

Last week we also launched the series I’ve been dreaming of for a long time: The Way We Eat, profiles and conversations with real people like you on how they shop, cook, eat, and feed themselves and their families. This series will continue weekly and I’m so looking forward to diving into the scores of emails and offerings from you, our readers, to see who we can feature as this series grows. In the meantime, this month will include a Muslim-American illustrator in Texas, a mom in California who is a comedian and podcast host, and others with various and interesting viewpoints on food.

Credit: Lucy Hewett/Kitchn
Abra Berens and a sneak peek of our July Week of Dinners feature.

Coming Up in July

And then here’s a little more about July itself — look out for these pieces this week and this month.

  • The vegetable chef of the year tells us what she cooks in a week: We have a visit with Michigan chef and author Abra Berens (we’re all so obsessed with Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables, her new cookbook) to see the dinners she cooks in a week and how she uses vegetables at home.
  • Preserving Week(nights): Curious about finally trying to make jam for the first time this summer? Or maybe actually pickling something? Preserving isn’t just for grandmas in big farmhouses; it’s totally accessible and doable for those of us in small kitchens with busy lives. Look out for our Preserving Week near the end of July!
  • The Mediterranean Diet, in recipes: Interested in the Mediterranean diet and way of eating? So many recipes for you this month on that front!
  • Snapshot Cooking, vegetable pizzas: We apply our Snapshot Cooking format to vegetable pizza, showing you ways to get pizza all vegged up.
  • Blueberry muffin showdown: Our recipe battle of the month is blueberry muffins. So many people love them; why are they so hard to make well? Look out for that next week.


  • The very American journey of the churro. Why is everything suddenly churro-flavored? A Mexican-American goes back to his roots.
  • What California tastes like in 2019. What does California taste like right now, as a home cook? What are the home cooks of California cooking and loving in a way that the rest of us can learn from? Look for a big, juicy package around California and the best of its home cooking at the end of July.

As always, thank you for reading and for being a part of this community. As you read this month do tell us: How do vegetables come first for you, and what are your strategies for putting them first in your eating and your cooking? Would love to learn from each other!