One of the most wonderful aspects of summer is the plethora of fresh ingredients just begging to be eaten. Farmers markets are bursting at the seams, gardens are overflowing, and the grocery store offers more vibrant selections in their bins. Here are a few quick and easy recipes that you can create using summertime ingredients. If you’re hosting an event, you could also seek out caterers that design menus with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
New Take on an Old Classic
For a meal the entire family will enjoy, add a grilled cheese to the menu. However, this is not the grilled cheese of your youth, but a new, updated twist to the old classic. In this heartier version, add slices of your preferred cheese then add in thick slices of tomatoes and cover them in large basil, spinach, and arugula leaves. Place it in the skillet and cook.
For a more gourmet indulgence, layer mozzarella with basil leaves, goat cheese, and spinach then coat the inside of the bread with pesto. For added creaminess, you can smooth avocado into the mix. Create a lighter fare by spraying the outside of the two bread slices with olive oil instead of slathering with butter.
Make a full-flavored summer salad by adding halved cherry and grape tomatoes to a bowl. Sweet sun sugar and yellow jellybean tomatoes are fantastic additions. Chunk up an avocado and add chopped herbs such as basil, savory, oregano, parsley, and thyme. Coat the mixture with olive oil and lemon juice. Add a touch of balsamic vinegar for a little extra kick. Toss the salad with shredded parmesan cheese. The salad can be served at room temperature or placed in the refrigerator and chilled prior to eating. For a more power-punched dish, serve atop mixed greens.
Satisfy the Sweet Tooth
At the end of your meal, satisfy your sweet tooth without clogging the arteries with a warm, gooey dessert. Halve an apple and spoon out the core. Fill the divot with honey, walnuts, and sliced cherries. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon. Lightly coat the top with olive oil to keep edges from getting burned. Bake at 300 degrees until the apple has softened.
Want something a little cooler that can be prepared in advance? Scoop a serving of plain Greek yogurt into a bowl, add a touch of vanilla and stir. Then, top it with a handful of fresh berries and drizzle the concoction with honey or agave nectar.
Bring the outdoors into your kitchen during the summer months and enjoy tasty meals using seasonal ingredients. Fresh, bright fruits and veggies can create a vibrant presentation while keeping you healthy and full.