The Season of Summer Fruit
The summer fruit season, brimming with color and flavor, always feels festive. Versatile summer fruit is delicious in savory and sweet recipes that are perfect for entertaining. Berries complete cocktails and complement grilled cheese sandwiches. All it takes is a bit of sweet fruit nectar to make any meal feel like a celebration.

 

The Season of Summer Fruit

The summer fruit season, brimming with color and flavor, always feels festive. Versatile summer fruit is delicious in savory and sweet recipes that are perfect for entertaining. Berries complete cocktails and complement grilled cheese sandwiches. All it takes is a bit of sweet fruit nectar to make any meal feel like a celebration.

ROASTED HEIRLOOM CHERRY TOMATO, BASIL, AND BURRATA PASTA

Whenever I prepare this dish I feel thoroughly indulged. It might be the sweetness of the roasted summer heirloom cherry tomatoes or it could be the decadence of the burrata cheese. Whatever it is, these ingredients pair deliciously together and make a delightful summer pasta dish.

Serves 4

1 to 2 dry pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

12 ounces of your favorite pasta, cooked to package directions

1 cup basil pesto

1 bunch basil, sliced chiffonade or coarsely chopped

8 ounces burrata cheese, carefully sliced

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the halved cherry tomatoes with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

Gently toss the cooked pasta with the basil pesto, half the chopped fresh basil, and half the roasted tomatoes.

Pour the pasta into a serving bowl or onto a platter and top with the remaining roasted tomatoes, burrata cheese, and fresh chopped basil.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

FRUIT KEBABS WITH STRAWBERRY YOGURT DIP

One of my favorite starters or desserts to serve during the summer months is fruit kebabs with strawberry yogurt dip. The platter is fresh and tasty and a snap to put together, making entertaining fuss-free and delicious.

Serves 6 to 8

2 (8-ounce) containers of strawberry Greek yogurt

4 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces sour cream

6 teaspoons strawberry-flavored gelatin mix

Assorted fresh fruit such as strawberries, cubed pineapple, sliced kiwi, sliced starfruit, cubed melon, sliced peaches

Small skewers or party picks

Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

 

In a food processor or electric KitchenAid stand mixer, mix together the yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, and gelatin mix until smooth and creamy. Pour into a container and refrigerate until served.

Pour the yogurt dip into a bowl and place it in the center of a platter. Place the fruit around the yogurt dip and serve with skewers. Or, create mini skewers of fruit and place the skewers around the yogurt dip. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

BLUEBERRY MINT JULEP

Blueberries have a permanent place on my kitchen counter during the summer. They make the best fresh and instant snack, and my family is always pleased when I serve them in a dessert or add them to this timeless cocktail. This seasonal mint julep is refreshing, calming, and celebratory all at the same time.

Makes 1 cocktail

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 bunch fresh mint, plus extra for garnish

Fresh blueberries

1 part blueberry schnapps (optional)

2 parts bourbon

 

To make the mint simple syrup, add the sugar, water, and fresh mint to a pan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Take the pan off the heat and let it cool. Strain the simple syrup, removing all the fresh mint.

To make the cocktail, add ⅓ cup of fresh blueberries to the bottom of a glass and muddle them. Add 1 to 1½ parts simple syrup, 1 part blueberry schnapps if using, and 2 parts bourbon. Give it a stir and then top with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!

 

Recipes and photographs by guest blogger Karista Bennett