Blueberry Muscato Grape Popsicles

Homemade blueberry and grape ice cream on a stick

Popsicles are basically summer on a stick. The scorching hot weather is the perfect excuse to break out the frozen treats. Nothing quite beats the heat like an ice cold popsicle and even more so when it’s made from scratch with fresh, natural ingredients. Homemade ice pops are as simple as they are scrumptious with just a few easy steps. All you need are your favorite fruits, base and popsicle molds and you have yourself a dessert that’s both portable and delicious! There are plenty of fantastic combinations you can make from healthy Greek yogurt pops to boozy frozen wine pops and more. This week’s recipe is inspired by the wonderful seasonal grapes we’ve been having during these summer months. Combined with sweet and tangy blueberries and creamy coconut milk, we dare say we have one phenomenal showstopper of a popsicle you’ll want to make for the remainder of August and September.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThese are no ordinary grapes. Exclusively available from Melissa’s, Muscato Grapes are sweeter than average and are hybrids of certain special varieties. They are seedless and come in three different colors: red, black and green, all with some pronounced differences among them but also equally as delicious! Red Muscato Grapes have a vibrant, rosy color and are sweeter than Green Muscato Grapes, which is a little more tangy and crunchy. However, Black Muscato Grapes are the sweetest among the three and a softer texture. These grapes are hugely popular for their scrumptious, well-balanced summertime flavor and can be eaten as a juicy snack or incorporated into different recipes. We love them in a light and healthy Chickpea and Grape Salad or baked into a brunch-worthy Black Muscato Grape Buckle or even as oven-roasted raisins!

Blueberry Muscato Grape Popsicles

Yields: 8 popsicles

Ingredients

1. Place the Muscato Grapes, blueberries and coconut milk into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour the liquid into popsicle molds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

3. When ready to serve, run the popsicle molds under hot water for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen up.

 

Cheese and Boiler Onion Quiche

Homemade Cheesy Egg Quiche for Brunch

If you consider yourself a lover of all things breakfast and brunch, then you’re going to love this quiche. Quiche is a traditional French pastry made up of a buttery open crust which encases a savory egg custard filling. It is served both hot or cold and can also contain different cheeses, vegetables or meats. Although an elegant dish, quiche is often served as a popular party food and is quite effortless to make. All you need are a few basic ingredients to get started–eggs and milk. The rest is up to you. Today’s summer quiche recipe is a garden-fresh theme that features a classic combination of spinach, Melissa’s Boiler Onions and Sun Dried Roma Tomatoes. Onions are a traditional staple in French cooking and often find their way into savory tarts and pastries. Whole Boiler Onions give this recipe a unique twist with its pungent sweetness married with the intense, concentrated flavors of the tomatoes. You can also use Pearl Onions in place of Boiler Onions if you prefer their smaller size and more mild flavor.

Organic Red Pearl Onions

Boiler onions fall into the dry onion category and are available in red, white and gold. They generally have a sweet, sharp and pungent flavor that mellows out during the cooking process. These petite, little onions are immensely popular in stews, soups and braises such as Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin. They can be browned, caramelized and then added to different sauces for extra flavor. And they can be even be pickled or cooked with milk or cream! With so many different ways to utilize them, it’s no wonder Melissa’s Boiling Onions are a bestseller. Although often used in more robust, winter dishes, these onions are also perfect for the summer. Skewer them onto kabobs and grill them alongside assorted meats, vegetables and seafood.

Though some may use pearl onions and boiler onions interchangeably, they actually feature a few key differences. Pearl Onions are even smaller than boiler onions and impart and more mild and sweet flavor. They’re also available in red, white and gold. Pearl Onions are often found creamed or pickled alongside other pickled vegetables and served as a condiment.

Cheese and Boiler Onion Quiche

Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-baked 9-inch pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 Melissa’s Sun Dried Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups of Boiler Onions or Pearl Onions, peeled
  • 1 cup of organic spinach
  • 1 cup of Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1. Begin by peeling the onions. Begin by trimming the root of the onions. Then blanch the onions in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and place them to a bowl of ice water. Take the onion and pinch it at the stem end. It should slip right out of its skin.

2. In a large skillet, sauté the boiler onions in the butter for around 5 minutes or until they start to soften.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the sun dried tomatoes, milk, salt and pepper.

4. Take your pie crust and spread half the cheese at the bottom of the crust. Add the boiler onions around the pie crust.  Then add the remaining cheese.

5. Pour in the egg mixture on top. Bake the quiche at 350 degrees for around 30 to 35 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for around 15 minutes before serving.

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

Well, isn’t this just peachy keen? National Peach Month is here and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate this delightful stone fruit. Fresh peaches are in abundance this time of the year and with so many delicious varieties, it’s impossible to not get into the spirit of this exciting food holiday. After all, if there’s one fruit that tastes like summertime, it’s got to be peaches. They’re sweet, aromatic and brimming with chin-dripping juiciness. However, summer really hasn’t begun until you’ve baked yourself a peach cobbler. Although equally as delicious, cobblers are made with a topping of biscuits and no crust in contrast to pie. The cobbler take on a gorgeously rustic appearance as the fresh fruit juices bubble up in the oven and their flavors deepen and transform. This is the ultimate summer dessert made with not only your favorite peaches but also blueberries which is then encased in a warm, fluffy golden-brown biscuit.

BlogPost_PeachBlueberryCobbler_1.jpgLike all stone fruit, peaches are best enjoyed during the warm summer months. With their lusciously sweet flavor, fuzzy skin and delicious fragrance, there’s plenty of love about them. They’re high in vitamins, folic acid and fiber. And in the US, they rank third in popularity, only behind apples and oranges. There are many varieties of peaches available such as your standard peach you’d find at your local grocery store as well as other speciality ones such as the enormous Sweet Dream Peach, uniquely shaped Saturn Peach or peach and nectarine hybrid Peach A Rine. And if you’re looking for a true gem of a peach, check out Organic Masumoto Peaches, which are grown on a small family farm and one of our most sought after fruits. Peaches are already delicious when enjoyed raw but they’re also make an exquisite addition to many summer recipes such as  a Grilled Peach Pizza or Peach Apricot and Blueberry Galette.

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of peaches (about 6 to 8 peaches)
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cubed
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Sanding sugar, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, 1/3 cup of white sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Set it aside.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and 1/3 cup of white sugar. Use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture.

3. Scrape out the vanilla bean seeds from the pods. Add them to the heavy cream and stir together to combine.

4. Add the cream to the dry ingredient mixture and stir together until a dough forms.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place your ramekins onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Divide up the fruit filling and spoon into the ramekins. Divide up your dough equally and spoon over the fruit filling. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sanding sugar.

6. Place the baking sheet with the ramekins in the oven and bake for around 50 to 65 minutes until the top is golden-brown. Once finished baking, allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Hatch Chile Cornbread

Corn Bread with Jalapeno Peppers

It’s that time of the year again–Hatch Chile season! In less than a couple of weeks, we will be teaming up with local supermarkets in Southern California and all over the nation to distribute and roast these highly coveted chiles. Because Hatch Chiles are only available for a short period of time in August and September, they’re typically purchased in bulk, roasted and then frozen for later use in recipes during the rest of the year. They can be enjoyed in so many different ways and today, we’re giving the basic cornbread its own tasty Southwestern twist. You may be familiar with jalapeno cornbread but what if we took that and substituted them with Hatch Chiles instead? Sounds simple enough to us! The combination of spicy and sweet flavors combined with its soft, crumbly texture is too irresistible to pass up and really gives this cornbread a touch of magic. Though entirely delicious on its own, a drizzle of honey or a pat of honey butter really takes this easy side dish to the next level.

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Hatch Chiles are one of the nation’s most highly coveted chiles for a reason. These chiles hail all the way from the Mesilla Valley in New Mexico, where the region boasts intense sunlight by day and a still coolness during the night, adorning this chile variety with a unique flavor unlike any other. No two Hatch Chiles are the same and their heat intensity can range from mild to medium to hot. Hatch Chiles make a great ingredient that’s exquisite in practically any recipe. Once roasted, their skin peels off easily and the flesh can be chopped up as toppings, blended into sauces or even incorporated into desserts. If your mouth isn’t watering already, check out recipes such as Hatch chile queso fundido, Hatch chile stuffed pork tenderloin and even Hatch chile and vanilla bean ice cream! Check out our Roasting Schedule and find out where and when your local store will be roasting Hatch Chiles.

Hatch Chile Cornbread

Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of fresh Hatch chiles, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.

2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk and butter and stir together until mixed.

3. Add the bowl of the wet ingredients to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spot or spatula to mix together until most of the lumps have been dissolved. Be careful not to over mix.

4. Add the chopped Hatch chiles to the mixture and gently combine. Allow for the mixture to sit at room temperature for around 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake the cornbread for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick pricked into the center comes out clean.

6. Allow for the cornbread to cool before cutting and serving. Serve alongside honey or sweetened butter for dipping.

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

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Pardon us but summer isn’t always about grilling.  While we always love ourselves a good cookout, we’d like to pay homage to some of our favorite summer vegetables this week instead. This season has some of the very best produce to enjoy from succulent organic zucchini to red, ripe organic Roma tomatoes and much more. Many of these vegetables are best enjoyed unadorned, allowing their natural flavors to shine through. When it comes to how we can make this magic happen, a traditional ratatouille comes to mind. This is a traditional French-style, peasant recipe that features colorful, vibrant layers of sliced vegetables spread across a bed of savory tomato sauce. Cooking the vegetables in the oven slow roasts them while the parchment paper on top helps to steam them, keeping them moist and succulent during the cooking process and trapping in all of its wonderful flavors. The recipe is somewhat simple, albeit a little time consuming if you want to arrange it in the fashion shown above. However, one bite of this dish and you’ll agree with us that it’s well worth the effort! The result is a comforting, home-style summer casserole that’s both vegan and gluten-free, perfect for those of you looking to eat a little lighter during this time of the year. You can enjoy this as it is or alongside a bed of steamed rice or pasta.

Raw Green Organic Baby Zucchini

This Summer Vegetable Ratatouille features plenty of delicious produce including Melissa’s Organic Zucchini. Melissa’s Organic Zucchini is free of artificial or synthetic fertilizers and full of unforgettable, great tasting flavor. This vegetable is a type of marrow squash with a thin skin and crisp creamy flesh. Its flavor is mild and mellow with just the right hint of sweetness and savoriness. Easy to cook and work with, zucchini is very versatile and can be made into a classic Zucchini Bread with Lemon and Blueberries or Zucchini Linguine with Meat Sauce. You can also serve them fried, grilled, or steamed, buttered and sprinkled with herbs and spices.

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille 

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a separate bowl, pour in the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, diced onions and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir together.

2. In a cast iron skillet, pour in the tomato sauce, making sure to cover the bottom.

3. Arrange the vegetables on top of the tomato sauce, alternating and overlapping the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and summer squash. Start the outer edge of the skillet, working your way in to create a spiraled design till you reach the center of the dish.

4. Sprinkle the top of the skillet with kale, thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle with more olive oil on top. Cover the vegetables with a piece of cut parchment paper.

5. Place the cast iron skillet into the oven and roast for around 40 minutes. Once finished, cooking, remove from the heat. Remove the parchment paper and serve.

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Fresh passion fruit cheesecake dessert

Hooray for passion fruit season! With its delicious flavor and aroma, we’re definitely feeling the passion for this tropical fruit. Sometimes eaten fresh, passion fruit is generally best utilized in fillings and sauces and paired with desserts. One dessert that’s always foolproof comes in the form of one of our favorite kinds of cakes–cheesecake! The combination of creamy, velvety smooth cheesecake paired with the sweet-tart pulp and crunchy seeds of passion fruit makes for one memorable confection. This cheesecake itself is incorporated with fresh mangoes and passion fruit juice and sandwiched between a buttery and crunchy graham cracker crust and exquisite passion fruit glaze. The result is one heavenly sweet treat that tastes of the summertime in a tropical place far, far away.

Passion fruits

With its wrinkled, dimpled appearance, passion fruit may look a little unusual on the outside. However, on the inside lies a lovely jellied golden-flesh that’s filled with edible seeds. The flavor is both sweet and tart and also slightly acidic, comparable to that of the guava fruit. This fruit is found in both tropical and semitropical regions such as parts of South America, Australia, Hawaii, Florida and more. In New Zealand, passion fruit is purple while in Hawaii, the variety is golden-yellow and also known as lilikoi. To enjoy this fruit, simply halve the fruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon. You can also make passion fruit juice by straining them from the pulp with a fine strainer or cheesecloth and a spoon. The juice can be used in a refreshing cocktail, cooler or sorbet.

Passion Fruit Cheesecake 

Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

For the cheesecake

  • 1 pound of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of mangoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of passion fruit juice (about 3 passion fruits)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lime zest

For the crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of graham crackers
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

For the passion fruit topping

  • Pulp and seeds for 1 passion fruit
  • 1 cup of passion fruit juice (about 6 passion fruits)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice

1. Begin by making the crust. Place the graham crackers into a food processor and pulse until crushed. Add the butter and process again until well combined. Transfer the crumbs into an 8-inch pan. Use the back of a spoon to press the crumbs onto the bottom of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.

2. In a clean food processor, puree the passion fruit juice and mangoes together until the mixture is smooth. Then add the cream cheese and process together.

3. Add the sugar, cornstarch and yogurt to the mixture and pulse together. Then add the lime juice, lime zest and eggs and pulse together again. The mixture should be smooth and not over-mixed.

4. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for around 45 minutes. The center of the cake should still be a bit loose.

5. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven and open the oven door for a few minutes. Then, close the door and allow for the cheesecake to continue cooking for around 20 minutes.

6. Remove the cheesecake from the heat. Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake. Allow for the cake to cool to room temperature for about an hour. Then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for another hour.

7. While the cheesecake cooling, make the passion fruit topping. In a separate bowl, pour in the lime juice and half the passion fruit juice. Add the gelatin on top and allow for the gelatin to bloom. This should take around a minute.

8. In a separate saucepan, boil the other half of the passion fruit juice with the sugar. Whisk in the hot juice into the gelatin mixture.

9. Place this topping into the refrigerator for around 20 minutes. The topping should begin to set. Then add the passion juice pump to the mixture and stir.

10. Pour in the topping on top of the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake back into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and serve the following day.

 

Celebrate National Pickle Month

Winter store

This July, we’re celebrating all things pickled with National Pickle Month! Pickling not only prolongs the life of your favorite produce but also takes its flavor to a whole new level that you simply wouldn’t find when eaten fresh. Most of us have grown up on the common dill pickle where we added to them our favorite burgers and sandwiches or enjoyed them straight out of hand as a snack. But did you know that there are so many other wonderful vegetables and even fruits out there that you can pickle? After all, pickling has been one of the culinary world’s hottest trend over the past few years and many of us have been thinking beyond the basic cucumber. From crunchy green beans to earthy beets and even sweet peaches make for some pretty incredible pickles that you can munch on long after their seasonality has finished.

Homemade pickles are incredibly easy to make at home and that combination of tangy, salty, briny and sweet is simply irresistible. We love the method of quick pickling because it it doesn’t require any complicated or lengthy canning processes. All of you need is your choice of vegetables or fruits, boiling water and vinegar. If you really want a unique pickle, don’t be shy in incorporating spices, fresh or dried herbs or even chiles if you want an extra kick. This process is entirely customizable and works with so many different ingredients that you may find yourself with more than enough pickles you can handle this summer. In order to insure a successful pickling process, choose only the freshest produce you can find. These pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Quick Pickles

Yields: 2 pint-sized jars

  • 1 lb of fresh vegetables or fruits
  • 2 sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, dill, etc. (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, paprika, etc. (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of whole spices such as mustard seeds, black peppercorns, anise seeds, etc. (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 2 pint jars with lids, washed and dried

1. Begin by preparing the vegetables or fruits. Make sure they’re washed, dried and have been cut or trimmed into their desired shapes.

2. Make your brine by combining the water, vinegar, salt and sugar into a saucepan. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Stir the salt and sugar to dissolve.

3. Add the spices or herbs into the jars. Reserve half the spices for each jar.

4. Add the vegetables to the jar and pour in the pickling brine, filling up each jar while leaving about 1/2 an inch to the top.

5. Tap the jars against a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. Seal the jars.

6. Allow for the jars to cool to room temperature, then place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 48 hours before consuming.

Anything you can fit into a jar, you can probably pickle. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes to help get you started on your pickling journey for this scrumptious food holiday:

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Kickin’ Bread and Butter Pickles

What exactly are Bread and Butter Pickles anyways? These pickles are more commonly known as sweet pickles and get their name from the Great Depression when food was scarce and were enjoyed sandwiched between two slices of brown bread. Bread and Butter are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches and burgers. This recipe is made with Melissa’s Organic Mini Cucumbers, Organic Bell Peppers, Sweet Onions and get an extra kick from fiery Serrano chiles. They’re best enjoyed a week or two after refrigeration.

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Pickled Tokyo Turnips

Word of warning, these aren’t any ordinary turnips. Tokyo Turnips, also known as our baby turnips, are a tender, mildly sweet and juicy variety with a slightly spicy bite. They’re so delicious that we couldn’t help ourselves when pickling these adorable little bulbs. All you need is water, sea salt, crushed and dried red chiles such as our Japones or De Arbol and a little Meyer Lemon zest. Pickled Tokyo Turnips are best enjoyed within a couple days and pairs beautifully with hot rice, farro and banh mi sandwiches.