Cooking with the Seasons: Summer

Art abstract market background fruits on a wooden backgroundJune Solstice is today, which marks the official beginning of the summertime. Spring has been good to us but we’re ready to say hello to the sunshine weather, longer days and all of the wonderful bounty of produce the summer brings. The season gives us sweeter fruits such as berries and stone fruit and crunchier vegetables such as organic corn and chile peppers. Just as spring boasts artichokes, lemons and asparagus, the summer gifts delicious specialties such as nectarines, plumcots and much more. The abundance of so many gorgeous fruits and vegetables makes it easy to incorporate them into a healthy diet.

Summer is the time of the year where the natural flavors and quality of the produce can really shine. Unlike in wintertime which call for rich, hearty recipes, the key to eating fruits and vegetables in the summer is to keep things light and balanced. Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or putting together a simple supper, start off a summer meal with easy appetizers such as grilled peaches or grilled figs with gorgonzola. Then it’s time to light up the grill with outdoor favorites such as a BBQ rack of ribs with cactus-pear mango sauce and cedar plank grilled salmon. Take advantage of all the sweet, tropical fruits you find in the season with a lychee spritzer and melon mango smoothie as a refresher.

Gourmet Roasted Peaches with cheese and basilGrilled Peaches with Basil and Goat Cheese

With their floral aroma, fuzzy skin and juicy, sweet flesh, peaches are truly the ultimate taste of the summertime. An elegant summer appetizer or dessert, grilled peaches are an easy and impressive way to end a backyard BBQ without spending too much time in the kitchen. Grilling peaches allow for their natural sugars to caramelize, giving them an unforgettably sweet and smokey flavor that’s perfect for dessert. We used Organic Matsumoto Peaches in this recipe but you can also use any of our other peaches if they’re not available.


Charentais Melon Prosciutto Wrap

Melons and prosciutto. What could be a more simple yet classic pairing? This elegant appetizer is always foolproof for entertaining guests and is a scrumptious combination of sweet and salty flavors. All you need are a few key ingredients to make this recipe happen. We love the Charentais Melon for their rich, honeyed taste and luscious, flowery aroma. If these fine melons are not available, you may also use Organic Orange Flesh Honeydew Melons as a substitute.


BlogPost_CookingWithTheSeasonsSummer_3Grilled Teriyaki Turkey Cheeseburgers

There’s nothing like a delicious homemade cheeseburger right off the grill. With summer at our doorstep, we’re taking dinner to the islands with these Grilled Teriyaki Cheeseburgers. These delectable turkey burgers are topped off with freshly grilled slices of South African Baby Pineapples and a slice of melted cheddar cheese. Grilling pineapples and many other fruits help bring out their natural sugars and gives them their deep, caramelized flavor.


Homemade Grilled Salmon on a Cedar PlankCedar Plank Salmon

Word of warning: This recipe is going to be some of the best salmon you’ve ever had. Fresh salmon rubbed with herbs, tangy Dijon mustard and grilled on a block of cedar plank is the ultimate way to celebrate the start of summer. Plank grilling is a technique used by the Native Americans to roast wild game and fish. The smokiness of the cedar slowly infuses with the salmon, giving the meat an unforgettably intense flavor and aroma. Pair the salmon with a glass of our 2011 Hanzell Chardonnay or 2013 Quivet Cellars Sauvignon Blanc.

BlogPost_CookingWithTheSeasonsSummer_5Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

Grilling season isn’t just about burgers. Chicken fresh off the grill is a great crowd pleaser and this new recipe is made with a little island flair. Our Grilled Hawaiian Chicken is inspired by the simple yet delicious plate lunches found all over Hawaii. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. Marinated for 12 hours in soy, sesame oil and more, this chicken is anything but boring. Once infused with all the wonderful flavors, throw them onto the grill and serve them alongside steamed rice or other BBQ favorites.

wholemeal french galette with fruits sliced apricots peaches and blueberries Peach, Apricot and Blueberry Galette

Stone fruits and berries are some of the best things about the summertime. With so much to celebrate about them, it’s only fitting that we kick things off with one of our favorite pastries–the galette. Galettes are incredibly easy to put together but looks beautifully rustic and fancy enough to wow a crowd. For this particular recipe, we used Organic Matsumoto Peaches and Organic Apricots because they hold up well during the baking process in pastries. We also threw in some blueberries for added color and brightness.

BlogPost_CookingfortheseasonsSummer_7Meyer Lemon Turmeric Lemonade

What do you do when life gives you Meyer Lemons? Make lemonade, of course! However, this isn’t your grandma’s lemonade. This one is made with a healthy twist that’s only not delicious but also good for you. Known as one of the world’s best superfoods, turmeric is rich in health benefits such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The unique sweetness of Meyer lemon juice, combined with the warm, smokey flavor of turmeric may just be what you need on a hot summer day.

BlogPost_CookingwiththeSeasonsSummer_8Summertime Green Lychee Spritzer 

Unadorned, uncomplicated, and refreshing, our Lychee Spritzer is the answer to beating the summer heat. Made with just lychees, water and agave syrup, it doesn’t get any more simple than that. Lychees are already delicious on their own with their delicately sweet flavor and fragrant, perfume-like aroma. You can eat them straight out of hand like a snack or sip on this tantalizing mock-tail all season long.



What are your favorite fruits and vegetables to eat in the summertime? What recipes do you look forward to eating the most this season?

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