Our Favorite Cooking Ingredients to Kick-off Summer

If you can get past the 80% humidity, summer in Jacksonville is pretty darn perfect. We live in a community bustling with bicyclists, moms and dads running with strollers and happy pups bouncing over the waves. We’re huge fans of the active lifestyle that’s synonymous with living in our little town, and we curate our menus to match the healthy, vibrant lives of our visitors. When you stop into Marker 32 over the next few months, expect to see a few of these summer favorites show up on the menu:

 

Strawberries

 

We’re pretty sure there isn’t a single person on this planet who doesn’t have a deep love for this juicy berry. We’re huge fans of slicing these babies up and throwing them on an arugula salad with goat cheese or throwing them onto a strawberry shortcake. So versatile and so delicious.

 

There’s only one downside to strawberries, and that’s the price tag. The good news is, berries in season are typically far less expensive than the off-season sticker price. There are some great farmers’ markets around Jacksonville to purchase some local, seasonal strawberries, but the supermarkets will get the job done, too.

 

Garlic

 

If you ever see our kitchen without a stockpile of garlic, assume something has gone terribly wrong. When it comes to purchasing garlic, we definitely don’t discriminate by seasonal freshness. Although, we love summer because the cloves are a little juicier and a whole lot larger. There aren’t many items on our menu where garlic isn’t a prominent ingredient, so any entree you order in the next few months will reflect that freshness.

 

Similar to strawberries, garlic can be used to boost the flavor of almost any dish (except dessert, although we’re not totally opposed to it.)

 

Truffles

 

We’re getting a little fancy with this one. If you’re getting the real deal (not truffle oil), then it’ll definitely cost a pretty penny. Truffles have a unique, incredible flavor incomparable to anything else. The steep price tag comes from the tedious process of hunting for them. Whether they’re tossed in with pasta or shaved over a salad, be prepared to be speechless.

 

The Italian black truffle is harvested from May through September, making summer in the States prime time for truffles. If you forgot to take advantage of seasonal truffles over the next few months, you still have time. The equally-delicious white truffle is sold in October and November.

 

Tomatoes

There’s just something special about a fresh Caprese salad (or even easier, salted sliced tomatoes!) on a hot summer evening. Tomatoes thrive in warm weather, so it’s no wonder that specials featuring fresh, ripe tomatoes pop up from June through September.

 

Want to try some incredibly delicious tomatoes right in Jax? Head to Marker 32 for some crazy delicious fried green tomatoes. I mean come on…how can you go wrong with bright green tomatoes, thick bacon and shaved pecorino? We have no doubt you’ll love ‘em.

 

There are so many reasons to love summer, but the abundance of fresh produce is the highlight. Marker 32 embraces seasonal foods by featuring specials revolving around them. When you’re in the mood for a fresh, gourmet entree, Marker 32 is where you’ll find it.