Let Your Summer Produce Shine

Ah, the taste of summer! Stone fruits, corn, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, watermelon … and the list goes on. These recipes highlight the intense flavors of the season’s bountiful fruits and veggies.

Grilled Stone Fruit Bruschetta

1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 nectarines, cut into quarters
2 apricots, cut into quarters
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
handful of fresh mint leaves
honey for drizzling
Maldon sea salt for finishing


  1. Slice the baguette, and brush with olive oil on both sides.
  2. Fire up the grill! Grill the bread until barely charred on both sides. Carefully grill the nectarines and apricots.
  3. Assemble the bruschetta by spreading the Mascarpone cheese on the grilled bread, then layer with grilled stone fruit pieces and fresh mint leaves. Drizzle with honey and a sprinkle of finishing sea salt.

Watermelon, Roasted Corn and Mint Salad

From Chef Joseph V. Fasy, Fuquay-Varina

3 ears sweet corn, shucked (yellow, white, or bi-color)
4 cups watermelon chunks, seeded
¼ cup red onion, sliced into rings
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil (more for corn)
2 tablespoons fresh mint ribbons
cracked black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste


  1. Drizzle corn with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning on occasion, until slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Remove and cool, then slice kernels off the cob. When slicing, try to leave sections of corn still joined.
  2. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Add corn, watermelon, onion, and mint and gently toss all ingredients.
  4. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
  5. Serve immediately or chill.

Feeling Peachy Caprese Salad

Salad ingredients
4 ripe peaches
4 ounces arugula
1 4-ounce ball of burrata (or fresh mozzarella) torn into bite-sized pieces

Dressing ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried mint

1 cup balsamic vinegar
6 fresh mint leaves, julienned


  1. Blanch and peel the peaches: Score the peaches with an “X” on the bottom. Place in boiling water for 2 minutes, and immediately plunge the peaches into an ice water bath. Peel the peaches by pulling away the skin with a serrated paring knife. Cut peaches in half, remove the pit, and slice.
  2. Whisk all of the salad dressing ingredients together until emulsified. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing.
  3. Prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction: Place 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and cook gently over medium heat. Do not boil. Stir occasionally and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the amount of liquid is reduced by half and the consistency is thicker and syrupy. Remove the balsamic reduction from heat and set aside.
  4. Layer the salad together. Place the dressed arugula on a large platter, then arrange the sliced peaches and burrata on top. Garnish with mint and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Eggplant Caponata

From Guiseppe Cataldo, Serena

1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 whole olives, pitted and diced (Cataldo uses a mix of black and green olives)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 plum tomatoes, peeled and crushed by hand
1 cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces
½ cup fresh mint, torn into small pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Lightly salt the eggplant to draw out excess water. Put in a strainer and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat sauté pan over medium heat; add oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook onions and celery until soft and onions are translucent; add garlic and olives. Sauté for 30 seconds, or until garlic gives off a nutty aroma. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sugar and vinegar and cook for 3 more minutes.
  3. Transfer to a medium bowl and add tomatoes, basil, and mint. Set aside.
  4. Rinse eggplant to remove salt. Heat oil in a large skillet; add eggplant, zucchini, and squash and cook until soft. Add eggplant mixture to tomato mixture and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Wrap the mixture well with plastic wrap; allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.

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