Summer time is here again in south Florida! Along with the sweltering heat comes a delicious array of must-take-advantage-of seasonal produce. Here are 5 of my favorite recipes to enhance your next summer event by using local summer fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
- Basil Gimlet – Gently muddle 5 basil leaves, 1oz fresh lime juice, 1 oz agave, and then add 2.5 oz gin (Hendricks all the way!) and serve over ice. Add some fresh Blackberries for a fruitier version.
- Cherry & Beet Salad – Fresh halved and pitted sweet and tart cherries combine with roasted red and golden beets, and candied walnuts over mixed greens and tossed in a shallot vinaigrette make for a delightful salad rich in color, texture, and flavor. PS – did you know that you can also eat beet leaves? Season with salt and pepper and cook as you would a chard or other greens and enjoy.
- Peach Mango Sparkly Sangria – Combine fresh mint, 2 diced peaches, 1 diced mango and 1/3 cup simple syrup with 1 cup St Germaine, 1 bottle crisp white wine, and 1/3 cup soda water for a unique and refreshing summer libation. You can even Freeze mango cubes in advance to use instead of ice cubes to keep your sangria cool in the hot summer sun.
- Avocado and corn salsa – Mix diced avocado, fresh lime juice, roasted corn kernels, scallions, seeded and minced Jalapeño or Serrano chilies, and fresh cilantro for a versatile addition to any summer menu. This salsa is great alongside tortilla chips or crispy plantains as a dip, served as an appetizer in a stem-less martini glass layered with crab salad, or as a main course providing a bed to rest grilled fresh fish atop.
- Cucumber and Watermelon Gazpacho – cube up 3 parts seedless watermelon and 1 part peeled and seeded cucumber and blend until smooth. Add honey, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and serve as a refreshing first course, or in a shot glass as a passed hors ‘d oeuvre. Top with feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and finely chopped mint and basil for added depth.
Hope you enjoy these unique and crowd-pleasing seasonal recipes – Happy Summer Celebrating!
Michelle Kennedy ~ Sales Coordinator