The lovely thing about summer in the edible garden is the volume available for picking. Summer produce, with only a few exceptions, seems to take up small amounts of space meaning I can rely more on my own garden for meals than I can during the rest of the year.
Rocket is a daily staple and it is easy to grow enough to keep up a good supply with a variety of lettuces and other salad greens growing as well. Once your rocket heads to seed and starts to flower then make sure you pick the flowers off and add them into your salads. They look pretty and actually do have flavour. Chive and sage flowers are also good to use but the best of them all is possibly onion flowers. The crunchy little seeds within the onion flower offer a wonderful onion flavour. If you have a huge supply you can even dip the flowers in tempura batter and quickly fry them until crisp. In general the flower carries the flavour of the plant but in a milder form and it is worth tasting the flowers off any of your edibles.
My basil is currently prolific enough to make pesto as well as pairing with the gorgeous rosy red tomatoes planted in amongst my flowers. The award for volume though must go to courgettes, they seem to appear almost overnight and if not picked will form marrows very quickly. A couple of plants will keep a family happy for much of summer. If humidity is an issue then plant them somewhere with good air flow and spray leaves with Tui Disease Control for Fruit & Veges if powdery mildew starts to appear.
Courgette fritters are a summer favourite or just grated and pan fried with olive oil and garlic and mixed with crumbled feta they make a delicious topping for bruschetta. Courgettes are also perfectly at home on the barbecue. The barbecue is a great place for many of the summer vegetables, meaning that the whole of dinner can be cooked outdoors. Courgettes, eggplants and peppers are all suited to this style of cooking and often I will make a barbecue ratatouille. Slice and brush vegetables with oil prior to cooking and then grill until tender, combine in serving dish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous splash of your favourite vinegar.
While sweet corn is delicious regardless of how you cook it, removing it from its layers, brushing with a little olive oil and then barbecuing produces a really intense corn flavour. These can be eaten as is or scraped off the cob with the back of a heavy kitchen knife to make a delicious Mexican style corn salad.