The summer fruit game is strong. All of the good stone fruits are thriving right now like peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots. You can’t help but want to make use of them while they’re here. I’ve been filling up my grocery bags with them at the store, but when I come home, I realize I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I just can’t snack on apricots all day long. I get sick of them. But, if you think outside the box, there are ways to make use of these delicious summer fruits that don’t involve parfaits or smoothies. Playing with flavor profiles a bit teaches you that you can incorporate sweet fruits into savory dishes. And since summer fruits offer so many health benefits, from fiber to vitamins and minerals, it’s good to work them into your recipes when you can. Just re-think the way you view these foods. They aren’t exclusively for snacks and dessert. Here are savory ways to use summer fruit.
Grilled apricots and Burrata cheese
Burrata cheese is so creamy and mild in flavor that it pairs well with many things, including tangy, sweet, juicy apricots. Just cut apricots in half, put them face-down on the grill until they have those nice char lines, remove them, and drizzle them with good balsamic vinegar. Then pair with Burrata, and possibly some toast.
Plums with chicken and couscous
Stewed plums become very soft and easy to manipulate and turn into a sauce. Leave some chunks un-mashed for some good texture. Add them to baked chicken and couscous as they can add moisture to these otherwise dried foods, and bring out the flavors of the savory items.
Pork chops with an apricot glaze
Pork chops have such a distinct flavor that they really do well simmered out with a sweet glaze. A peach glaze can be especially tasty on pork chops. Pair this combo with something slightly bitter like an arugula salad for a full-flavored meal.
Sausage and plumb pasta
If you have an herby sausage you like to buy or make, perhaps one with fennel, it will pair very nicely with some plumb slices in pasta. Herbs and stone fruit go very well together. Just lightly sautee your plumb slices before adding them to your pasta dish. You won’t need any sauce beyond a little olive oil, crushed chili flakes, and parmesan here.
Grilled peaches with vinaigrette
You can grill peaches like you would most produce. Just cut them in half, remove the pits, and place them face-down on the barbecue to get those nice grill lines. Wait for them to become semi-soft. Then chill them in the refrigerator, and drizzle balsamic over them for a nice salad. You can pair them with arugula or spinach.
If you’re making chicken kebabs, add chunks of nectarines to your skewer. Just make simple kebabs with chicken, sweet onion, and nectarines. You can braise these with sweet barbecue sauce and get a result that’s moist and crispy.
Fish tacos with mango salsa
Summer is a great time to take that nice white fish showing up in the grocery store and grill it for tacos. You can either bread and fry them, or leave them simply grilled. Pair them with a nice mango salsa. You can make a simple one with diced mango, jalapeno, red onion, and tomato.
Grilled chicken with a cherry glaze
There are so many beautiful bags of cherries – red and orange and pink – in the stores right now. But how many can you really snack on? Stew them and make a tasty cherry glaze. You can use this over chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or even pork chops.
Plums and blue cheese salad
Plums and blue cheese go surprisingly well together. You can actually make a Waldorf salad with plums instead of apples – or both – and add your favorite vinaigrette. You can go with balsamic or a lemon vinaigrette for this one. Or you can make a tangerine vinaigrette, to make use of another summer fruit.
Strawberry and goat cheese bruschetta
Though we usually think of tomatoes when we think of bruschetta, consider making it with strawberries. Finely chop strawberries and basil and put this mixture over some good goat or ricotta cheese on toast. You can drizzle it with balsamic vinaigrette, too.
Mango and Cojita tostada
Try this summery twist on a tostada. Layer your fried tortilla with shredded chicken, shredded green cabbage, Cojita cheese, and chopped up mango. It’s very light and refreshing while still full of protein. You can add finely chopped jalapeno, olive oil, and lemon juice, too.
Grilled peach and goat cheese flatbread
Rethink the flatbread. It can be a bit sweet, as well as savory. Make a flatbread with goat cheese or ricotta cheese, grilled peaches, caramelized onions, a bit of basil, and balsamic vinegar. You can add a bit of pancetta or prosciutto if you’d like some meat.
Fig grilled cheese sandwich
You can use purple or green figs for this sandwich. And you’ll want a combination of Gruyere cheese and goat cheese. Slowly stew your figs on the stove with some water and sugar to turn them into jam. You can use regular sliced bread or focaccia here.
Blueberry and basil flatbread
This is another sweet and savory flatbread you can try. Blueberries pair very well with ricotta cheese. You can either bake the blueberries in the oven with the flatbread or add them at the end if you prefer them room temperature. Drizzle a little balsamic over this creation.
Watermelon and feta cheese salad
Watermelon and feta bring each other’s flavors out quite nicely. Make a simple salad with large chunks of watermelon, basil, and feta. Or you can use spinach for your lettuce. Drizzle with good balsamic vinegar and a little salt and pepper.