Sweet Tomato and Basil Salad

This fast, delicious salad captures the height of summer flavors. Takes 10 minutes to make and serves 4 people, unless you’re like me and snack while you prep. In that case, add an extra tomato.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 2-3 radishes
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Handful of chopped almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop lettuce, tomatoes, basil, spring onion, peaches and add those to a large bowl.
  2. Add cranberries and almonds as well.
  3. Next shred radishes and add those to the bowl.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Before serving toss with some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Thai style summer berry bowl

I love this Thai take on fruit salad because it delivers all the juicy goodness of fresh berries and delivers it with a twist of salt and lemongrass. I can’t help but drink the juice left in the bottom.

Adapted from “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

5 cups berries or cubed fruit in season
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tablespoons dried mint)
Grated zest of 2 limes
Optional: fresh whipped cream

Directions

Place the fruit in a medium bowl. Combine sugar, salt, and lime juice into a small bowl; and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the fruit and toss until coated. Let stand for 30 minutes. Osmosis will draw out the sugars in the fruit into the juice. Before serving, add the lemongrass, mint and zest. Best when eaten the same day.

Dark Red Berry Bowl

Before you decide that the following recipe isn’t for you because there are no Saskatoon berries where you live, take a careful look around, you might be surprised. I’ve since spotted them all around the city. That said, I’m not encouraging anyone to sample unknown berries from ornamental plants, but if you’ve had them before and know what they look like, they’re easy to identify. You can also substitute any dark, red berries or plums in season.

Ingredients

Kefir Creme Fraiche (make ahead)
  • 1 Tbsp. kefir (or coconut kefir)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • 1 cup saskatoon berries or any other dark, red berries
  • 2 Tbps. kefir creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut pieces (or hazelnuts)

Directions

  • To make the kefir creme fraiche, combine the cream and kefir in a flass jar or container. Let it sit, covered with paper towel or cheesecloth for 20 – 24 hours, or until set firm. This time may vary depending on the potency of your kefir culture and room temperature.
  • Combine 2 Tbsp. of the creme with maple syrup and lemon zest. Taste and adjust if more sweetness is needed. Refrigerate for an hour (optional, to let the mixture reset)
  • To make the bowl, top berries with the creme and walnuts.

The creamy white topping is kefir creme fraiche – as I will call it. It was made by putting a tablespoon of kefir into one cup of heavy cream to set for about 20 – 24 hours at room temperature. It tastes like creme fraiche with a bit of an effervescence, which is really interesting. The creme is then mixed with maple syrup and lemon zest, and tops the berries. If Saskatoon berries are indeed out of reach, I imagine this going well with plums.

Gingersnap-Mascarpone Fruit Tart


This recipe is really fast to make and nicely highlights the fresh fruit, which doesn’t actually get cooked.   You can use peaches, nectarines, cherries and/or strawberries in this recipe, which is mostly from Bon Appetit via Smitten Kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grind 36 good quality gingersnap cookies (bonus points if you make your own!) in a food processor.  Add 6 T.melted butter and process until the crumbs are uniformly moistened.  Press onto the bottom and sides of a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom (a pie pan will work too).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

In a bowl, beat together one 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature; 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Spread the filling over the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pit and thinly slice fruit to make 4 C. (Peel peaches if using).  Arrange over the filling.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.