Ah, the joys of summer produce: multicolored berries, sweet melons, and luscious stone fruits galore. Now’s the time to work these irresistible fresh fruits into your everyday dinner menus for colorful bursts of seasonal flavor—as well as for their myriad healthy phytochemicals and vitamins.
Seared Tempeh with Grilled Watermelon and Apricots
Prep/cook time: 22 minutes Serves 4 / Ingredient tips: A ripe watermelon should sound hollow when tapped and have a dull (rather than shiny) exterior. If you purchase precut watermelon, look closely at the flesh; it should be firm, unblemished, and not overly grainy. If it has lots of white seeds along with the normal brown-black seeds, then it was picked from the vine too early. Select deep yellow-orange apricots that are firm and plump. Serving tip: Accompany with cracked wheat and couscous pilaf plus steamed sugar snap peas. View recipe.
Chicken Salad with Cherries and Berries
Prep/cook time: 15 minutes Serves 4 / Ingredient tip: Look for berries that are firm and plump; a frosty look on blueberries indicates freshness and ripeness. Time saver: Purchase a rotisserie chicken, discard the skin, and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Serving tips: Salad can be served with the chicken hot or at room temperature. Serve with split, warm whole-wheat rolls topped with a few thin slices of Brie cheese. View recipe.
Summer Melons and Edamame with Glass Noodles
Prep/cook time: 18 minutes Serves 6 / A cool, refreshing summer meal. Ingredient tip: Look for melons that are fragrant, heavy for their size, and slightly soft at the stem end. Prep tip: To save time, look for precut fruit at your natural market. If you can’t find crenshaw melon, diced pineapple is also good. If you’re not vegetarian, try adding cooked and peeled shrimp. View recipe.
One-Pan Baked Chicken with Peaches and Plums
Prep/cook time: 35 minutes Serves 4 / So simple and versatile, this is easily doubled if you are expecting company. The dish works with a variety of fruits (including frozen peaches and dried plums!); try apricots and bananas, or in the fall use apples and walnuts. Prep tip: Using bottled minced garlic from the store is perfectly fine; keep a jar on hand. View recipe.