You think fruit, then dessert: fruit pies, fruit crumbles, fruit crisps, fruit compote on spongecake, fruit in ice cream or fruit on its own. When it’s hot and you need something refreshing, summer fruit fills the need– from tart blackberries to sweet strawberries to juicy peaches. However, there’s a savory side to summer fruit, that definitely deserves your attention.
Fresh fruit, summer fruit in particular, can really add something special to your recipes. When combined with the right ingredients, summer fruit can take on a savory flavor that’s far from a dessert — and just as good. I have included both desserts and savory dishes in the recipes in this post.
These summer fruits celebrate the freshest flavors of the season:
- Passion Fruit
Vegetable Salad With Blackberry-Shallot Vinaigrette
Chopped salads add a splash of color to a meal. If you’re making this salad in advance, keep the salad and dressing separate and hold off adding the tomatoes and avocado until just before serving. You can substitute vegetables that are in season for some of the ones listed in the recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped green beans or asparagus, steamed just until tender
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped radishes
- 1/2 head radicchio, chopped
- 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 10 blackberries, halved
- 10 whole blackberries
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In large bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, green beans, bell pepper, radishes and radicchio. In a separate small bowl, toss avocados with lemon juice to coat and then fold into the salad.
For the dressing:
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and place whole berries for the dressing in the strainer. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash berries through the strainer to separate the juice from the pulp and seeds. Discard pulp and seeds. Whisk together the blackberry juice, shallot, olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle desired amount over the salad. You may not need to use the entire amount of dressing. Top with pine nuts, the halved blackberries and serve. Serves 4.
Summer Fruit Soup
Makes about 4 cups; (serving size: 1 cup)
- 2 cups ripe cantaloupe chunks (about 1 inch)
- 3-4 ripe peaches (1 lb), peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup white Zinfandel wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Honey (optional)
- 1 cup raspberries, rinsed and drained
- Mint sprigs, rinsed
In a blender or food processor, puree cantaloupe, peaches, white Zinfandel and lemon juice until smooth. Taste and add honey if desired.
Pour soup into a container, cover, and chill until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. To chill faster, nest container in a bowl of ice water and stir soup often until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour the soup into shallow bowls. Scatter raspberries on top. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Mozzarella, Basil and Nectarines with Balsamic Glaze
- 4 large nectarines
- 12 large basil leaves
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 thick round slices
- 1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Combine vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is slightly syrupy. Remove fromthe heat and pour the vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Cut the nectarines into ¼ inch thick circles, going around the pit and keeping the slices whole.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sear both sides of the nectarines for 1 minute or until warmed, but still firm. Alternately, you can grill the nectarines directly on the grill. Keep the nectarines warm while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the panko crumbs, flour, parmesan, salt, pepper and cayenne, mixing thoroughly to combine.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Take each slice of fresh mozzarella and coat it in the beaten egg, then dredge it through the bread crumb mix, pressing on both sides to adhere. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and when hot, saute the coated mozzarella slices, turning carefully once, until golden and the cheese starts to melt but still retains its shape, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels.
To assemble: place one nectarine slice on a plate, top with 1 slice of mozzarella and then a basil leaf. Repeat the layer one more time and finish with a nectarine slice. Garnish with basil and freshly grated pepper. Drizzle on the balsamic glaze.
Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce
- 1 pound pitted, chopped plums
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely minced onion
- 1 minced hot pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 boneless pork tenderloins
- Vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper
To make the sauce:
Bring all ingredients except the plums to a boil. Stir in the chopped plums. Reduce the heat and simmer very slowly until thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes. Depending on your preference for consistency, either puree in small batches in the blender, blend with an immersion blender or mash with a potato masher. The sauce may be made two days in advance.
To prepare the pork:
Heat an outdoor grill. Bank the coals on one side, so that one half is very hot and one half can be used for indirect cooking. If you have a gas grill, turn off one burner after the grill heats. Brush the hottest part of the grill with a little oil so the pork won’t stick.
Pat pork tenderloins dry with paper towels. Lightly salt and pepper them on all sides. Sear the pork on all sides over the hot side of the grill. Move the pork to the indirect heat, brush liberally with some plum sauce and cover the grill for about 8-10 minutes. Total cooking time, including searing is 15-18 minutes. If you have a thermometer, cook to 155 degrees F.
Heat some plum sauce in a small saucepan on the stove or the grill. Remove the pork from the grill and tent with foil, allowing the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Slice the tenderloins. Pool the plum sauce on the plate and serve with the sliced tenderloin fanned out on top. This dish goes well with garlicky, sautéed greens.
Creamy Rice Pudding with Peaches
- 5 cups whole milk (or any combination of whole and 2 percent reduced-fat milk), divided
- 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 ripe peaches, peeled and mashed
Combine 4 cups milk, rice and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Whisk egg yolks and about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture together in a small bowl. Whisk back into the pan and add the remaining 1 cup milk. Place over medium heat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Let cool and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Top with mashed peaches.
Blackberry or Blueberry Crumble
Blackberries were plentiful this year where I live. I had more than enough to use in fruit salads and decided to make this dessert.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup oats
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 cups mixed berries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons King Arthur clear gel for fruit pies or cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar,the 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and oats. Using a pastry blender, a fork or your hands cut in the butter. Keep mixture cold until ready to use.
In a large bowl combine berries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and clear gel or cornstarch; toss to coat. Pour the blackberry mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top with the crumble topping. Bake until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm.
- Sustainable Summer Grilling (jovinacooksitalian.com)
- Radicchio and Orange Salad (drsusansolutions.wordpress.com)
- Mojito Fruit Salad (cityliciousrecipes.wordpress.com)