It’s no use trying to make a delicate mousse with large, intensely flavored eggplant. Opt for a moussaka or eggplant Parmesan to take advantage of a mature eggplant.
Early in the season, tomatoes are best raw, in salads. Later, when the flavor is concentrated, I make roasted tomato sauces and rich soups.
Pick small squash for quick sautéing and medium-size squash for slower cooking in a casserole. I feed oversize squash, with spongy interiors and big seeds, to my neighbors’ sheep.
Tiny turnips cook through in only a minute or two; I serve them sliced, as a side dish. Large turnips need to be cooked into stews or slowly baked.
Baby fennel is perfect shaved raw into salads; bigger bulbs are better braised.