Check out these easy summer recipes featuring farmer’s market fresh produce!
Story and Photos By Mariana Rufin
Summer is officially in full swing, and what better way to celebrate the season than by exploring the best of what your local farmer’s market or supermarket has to offer! While nearly everyone knows that summer is the season for watermelon, an astonishing variety of produce—such as green peas, summer squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers—are all best enjoyed in the summer months. All of this fresh produce lends itself to vibrant, simple, recipes that are bold in appearance and taste.
Nectarine, Burrata, Basil, Tomato Salad
For this rendition on a traditional Caprese salad, nectarines add a slight sweetness to the dish which pairs excellently with creamy, salty, burrata. I would highly recommend grilling the nectarines, if you have the means to do so. As well as using fresh basil in the recipe, the flavors of the rest of the ingredients can be enhanced by creating a basil oil. First, quickly blanch the basil. Then put it through a blender with olive oil and leave the flavors to marinate for 30 minutes before straining. Because this salad recipe is so simple, don’t be afraid to get creative! For those who dislike tomatoes, cucumbers are an excellent replacement. I strongly encourage the addition of other herbs you may have lying around, such as parsley, mint, or tarragon.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Making pie from scratch can seem daunting, but the process is quite simple, and worth the final product. For the best pie crust, combine three parts flour and two parts cold butter (or lard) with one part ice cold water either by hand or in a food processor. The key is to pulse the butter with the flour first, then slowly add the water until the mixture is combined. From there, all you have to do is refrigerate it for a couple of hours until it is ready to use. The best summer pies use fresh berries, like blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. However, another favorite of mine is strawberry rhubarb pie, the perfect combination of tart and sweet! To make the filling for this pie, combine chopped strawberries and rhubarb with brown and white sugars, lemon juice, and cornstarch. To get that golden crust, make sure to coat the entire pie with an egg wash (one egg + 1 tbsp water) before baking.
No Churn Ice Cream with Blueberry Syrup
This is hands-down the easiest recipe for ice cream that doesn’t involve an ice cream maker. All that is required is heavy cream, condensed milk, a pinch of salt, and the flavoring of your choice. This recipe can be adapted to make any kind of flavor of ice cream! First, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed. Then, fold in an entire can of condensed milk—or less depending on your preference of sweetness. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and then put that mixture into the refrigerator while we get to work on making blueberry syrup. Add blueberries, the juice and zest of one lemon, and white sugar to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Watch closely to make sure that the mixture does not burn. When it has reached a thicker consistency, after roughly 20 minutes of cooking, let it cool completely. Carefully combine it with the ice cream mixture from before, and freeze for a full 24 hours, or until it has set and can be scooped.
Watermelon, Tomato, Feta Salad
It’s hard to get enough of summer salads, so here is another simple recipe to satisfy those sweet-savory cravings on a hot summer’s day! For this salad, start with room temperature tomatoes-—I prefer heirloom for the vibrant colors—and cold watermelon. The difference in texture and temperature is what makes this salad a success. Finally, add crumbled feta cheese, fresh dill, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.