Summer fruit recipes for picnic or BBQ

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gwen-upper110x110BY GWEN KENNEALLY

One of my most enjoyable summer pastimes is wondering aimlessly through the open- air market. I sometimes get a little over enthusiastic with the beauty and abundance of the season’s fruit that by the end of the day I have bags overflowing. If you come to my house for a meal you are going to end up with something that has fruit. The ripest berries, the sweetest peaches, the smooth texture of mangos and the yummiest of melons! It’s all here and ready —  summer fruit inviting me to play with some recipes. I am inspired to create unique ways to bring out new flavors. Think outside the box and have fun with the summer’s best!

Watermelon, Cucumber and Jicama Salad

watermelon1754 cups 1/2 inch pieces seeded watermelon
2 cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled jicama
2 cups1/2 inch pieces peeled and seeded cucumber
1/2-cup fresh limejuice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Pinch salt

Toss together all ingredients in a serving bowl. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight and serve.

Peach Barbecue Sauce

9 peaches, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1-cup canola oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, minced
5 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
5 shakes Tabasco
1 teaspoons pepper
2 cups brown sugar
2-tablespoon cornstarch

peaches175Puree peaches. Mix cornstarch with a little water.  Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and heat to low boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve with anything you would use a traditional BBQ Sauce.

Peach Pecan Chicken

5 large Peaches, peeled and pitted and mashed
1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
1-teaspoon cinnamon
1/8-cup sugar
6 shakes green Tabasco
1/2-cup flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup pecans, finely minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 chicken breasts, boned, skinned, split in half and slightly flattened

In a large skillet, combine the peaches, white wine, cinnamon, sugar and green Tabasco. Stir gently over medium heat until the peaches are tender and heated through. The sauce will reduce slightly and thicken. Set aside and keep warm.  Place the flour on a flat plate, the egg in a large bowl and the chopped pecans on a flat plate. In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot. Dip chicken into flour and shake off any excess. Then dip into egg and finally into chopped pecans. Sauté 3 minutes on each side until cooked. Put onto dinner plate and top with peach sauce.

blackberries175Shrimp and Berry Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

1 basket black berries
1-basket raspberries
1/4-cup pine nuts
2 firm-ripe avocados
1-teaspoon fresh limejuice
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups each baby spinach and arougula (or your favorite mix of greens)

Quarter avocados lengthwise, then pit and peel. Cut length wise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Prepare barbeque or stovetop grill (medium-high heat). Pour 1/4 cup dressing into small bowl. Reserve remainder for salad.  Brush shrimp with dressing from small bowl and grill until opaque in center, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. In a large serving bowl, toss together spinach, arugula, berries and pine nuts and dress lightly. Arrange avocados and shrimp on top of salad and serve.

orange175Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4-cup fresh orange juice
Juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
6 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3/4-cup canola oil

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients with salt and pepper to taste.

cut-mango175Grilled Salmon and Mango with a Cilantro Lime sauce

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 grated lime peels
4 6-ounce salmon steaks
1 large mango, peeled, cut into thick wedges
3/4-teaspoon cumin seeds

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Whisk oil, cilantro, lime juice, and lime peel in small bowl. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Brush all sides of fish and mango with some of vinaigrette. Reserve remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle fish and mango with salt, pepper, and cumin seeds. Grill until fish is just opaque in the center and flip. Remain grilling until fish is done to your likeness and the mango is soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

strawberries175Strawberry Muffins

2 1/2 cup flour
1/2-cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1/2-teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
Sugar mixed with cinnamon   for topping

Pre heat oven to 400. Spray muffin tin with bakers joy spray or line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir well until all ingredient are well blended. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour liquid mixture in and the strawberries. Gently fold ingredients just until moist . Do not over mix. Spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1/2-teaspoon sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

raspberries175Raspberry Liqueur Crème Brulee

1-pint fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
1-cup heavy cream
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.Place four ramekins in a roasting pan. Place the raspberries in a bowl with the liqueur and leave them to macerate for 15 minutes. Drain juice into a bowl and save.  Meanwhile, heat the cream to boiling point and leave to cool for 5 minutes. In a bowl, lightly beat the yolks with the sugar and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the warm cream and reserved liqueur. Evenly divide the raspberries between the ramekins and press down firmly. Pour cream over gently. It is o.k. if the berries float a bit. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. At serving time, sprinkle the sugar on top and caramelize with a blowtorch or under a broiler for a few minutes until melted. Serve with more fresh berries.

Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. Check out her website and blog and She wrote for the Sun Community Newspapers.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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