Graphic image showing seasonal fruit and veggies, a hand dressing a salad and a person holding a bag of cut bananas.

In July, the longer days and increased sunshine mean an abundance of seasonal produce is ready for harvest. There is lots to look forward to, with more fruit and other delicious vegetables in season this July. 

A burst of bright red is visible this month as tomatoes and chillies begin to ripen in the sun’s warmth. One of our recipes below is Tomato and Chilli Jam which captures and enhances these warm flavours and is a great way to use up any glut from the garden. This jam makes an excellent addition to recipes for a bit of heat and flavour but can also be used as a dip on its own. 

This month’s tomatoes can also be used in this summery recipe for a Tomato, Runner Bean and Coconut Curry. Runner beans, a common sight in many gardens, come into their prime in midsummer, making this light curry a perfect seasonal dish.

July is a great month to experiment with elderflowers if you haven’t before, as these delicate white florals are bursting with a sweet perfumey flavour. Easily recognized by the Elder tree’s distinct serrated leaves, elderflowers can make a delicious cordial.* This recipe from The Woodland Trust, guarantees a refreshing beverage or an exciting addition of cocktails. Pairing elderflower cordial with other seasonal fruits, like blackcurrants, gooseberries, cherries, and strawberries, elevates the drink even further.

Other vegetables in season in July are fennel, garlic, beetroot, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, spinach and garden peas. There is also a variety of herbs in season which can be added to many dishes. 

In July, gardening can be a busy affair with lots to keep on top of as everything bursts with life. At this time of year, it is good to check on vegetables and fruits to ensure you harvest them at the right time. Sowing and planting are mostly over by now but there is still a chance for fast-growing things like salad leaves and some others like carrots and peas. As temperatures rise, plants require more moisture. Mulching after rain helps retain soil moisture, reducing the need for additional watering. This practice is particularly beneficial during the hotter days of July.

*It’s always important to double check when foraging if you are unsure about what you’re looking for.

Tomato Chilli Jam


1kg tomatoes, washed and diced

3 red chillies, rough chopped (remove seeds for less heat)

1 onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 cm root ginger, grated

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

100g brown sugar

Olive oil



  1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and sugar into a shallow roasting tin, add a good slug of olive oil and mix to combine well.
  3. Sprinkle with a little salt to season.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are browned and the onion well cooked and caramelised.
  5. Cool and tip into sterilised jars. 

Elderflower Cordial


1 litre (2 pints) elderflowers

Lemon zest

Granulated sugar




  1. Gather enough elderflower sprays to fill a 1 litre (2 pint) measure when lightly packed.
  2. Shake the flowers to make sure there are no insects hiding inside, but don’t wash them as this can spoil the flavour.
  3. Remove as much of the inflorescence stalk as you can – up to where the main stem meets the smaller stems attached to the flowers.
  4. Cover the elderflowers with water. Add lemon zest (as little or as much as you like). Simmer for 30 minutes. Top up the pan if necessary, to keep the liquid covering the flowers.
  5. Strain the flower-infused liquid through muslin or tea towel, gently squeezing it to extract all the juice. Measure the amount of juice.
  6. Add 350g (12 oz) granulated sugar, and the juice of half a lemon, to each 500ml (1 pint) of liquid. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim off any scum. Let the cordial cool.
  7. Pour the liquid through a funnel into clean, sterilised bottles, up to about 1cm below the top. Seal the bottles with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks.
  8. Once bottled, the cordial will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Tomato, Runner Bean and Coconut Curry


1 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp mild tandoori curry paste

small pack coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped

2 limes, 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges

200g red lentils

400ml can coconut milk

300g basmati rice

400g cherry tomatoes, halved

300g stringless runner beans, thinly sliced on the diagonal


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 mins on a medium heat until softened. Add the paste, coriander stalks and lime zest, and cook for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Tip in the red lentils, coconut milk and 400ml hot water, and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 mins. Meanwhile, put a pan of water on to boil and cook the rice following pack instructions.
  1. Add the tomatoes and runner beans to the lentils and cook for a further 5 mins. Drain the rice. Add the lime juice to the curry, check the seasoning and sprinkle over the coriander leaves. Serve with the rice and lime wedges for squeezing over.

Our What’s in Season blog posts are written by Megan Hamill our Zero Waste Cafe Support Worker. To find out more about Megan you can read her bio here, and you can find out more about our Zero Waste Cafe’s here.

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© Arran Eco Savvy 2024