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Video: Cook with stone fruit for a sweet taste of summer

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    >>> bitman's idea for cook will go fruit will appear in the "new york times" magazine. he's the author of "how to cook everything basics" cookbook. good morning.

    >> good morning, matt.

    >> the techniques we're use can go be used for all of the fruits i'm mentioned.

    >> everything you mentioned could be treated the same way. everything we're doing here, you can throw in whatever your favorite stone fruit is.

    >> what are we going to start with, peaches or nectarines?

    >> peaches or nectarines. the white ones are white peaches. and we have plums here, too.

    >> you she's them in half, use the knife to go around the pit or the stone and you're taking them out easily and now you're grilling they in what was.

    >> this is a grilling technique. we're doing this indoor but this works wonderful on a charcoal grill.

    >> always leave the skin on like this when you're grilling it?

    >> i like to. you can always take it off. it does help hold it together.

    >> and that's all, a little butter, a little sugar.

    >> a drizzle of honey, a little lemon. any of that is good also.

    >> next you're going to show us how to make a chutney. is there a definition of chutney --

    >> no, it's like saying jam. we have cherrys, nectarines mixed together.

    >> when you're cooking with fruit like this, do you want it to be very ripe or would you prefer to cook this when it just before ready?

    >> what's great about both of these you is can use them pretty unripe. ripe fruit is nice, it has more sugar.

    >> in this we have cherrys and what is that?

    >> orange juice, ginger. this is kcurry powder and a little bit of clove for spice. you took them until they meld.

    >> you have raisins you're going to add to this and then -- why wouldn't you cook the raisins in there?

    >> you don't want them to plump up too much and the nuts, you want them to stay crunchy. you wind up with this gorgeous chutney or you can think of it as jam or come poet.

    >> if you go to mexico, los angeles , brooklyn, other exotic places like that, you will often see people selling on the street a fruit salad with any combination of fruit but also in it they put sugar, they put salt, chilli powder and kcayenne and with the fruit it's great.

    >> mark bitman, a great idea for stone fruit .

    >>

TODAY recipes
updated 6/20/2012 6:46:33 PM ET 2012-06-20T22:46:33

Due to an unusually warm winter, growers across America are reporting the earliest peach season in memory. That goes for other varieties of stone fruit as well. Lucky for us, Mark Bittman enjoys playing around with his food. Take advantage of these extra few weeks by experimenting with fruit in the kitchen and on the grill using these helpful recipes. When it comes to stone fruit, one size fits all!

Recipe: Chutney (on this page) Recipe: Mexican-style fruit salad (on this page) Recipe: French-style fruit (on this page) Recipe: Oven-dried fruit (on this page)

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Chutney

Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh fruit, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted macadamia or other nuts
Preparation

1. Combine the fruit, brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until fruit is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the orange juice, minced ginger, curry powder and a pinch of ground cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick. (Lower the heat if the mixture threatens to burn on the bottom.)

3. Turn off the heat and partially cool the mixture; stir in the raisins and nuts. Serve warm or cold. (Or store in a jar, refrigerated, for up to a week.) Use to stir into sauces, or serve alongside roasted vegetables, chicken or meat.

Recipe: Mexican-style fruit salad

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh fruit, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • Salt
  • Cayenne (optional)
Preparation

1. In a large bowl, toss the chopped fruit with the cilantro, the juice of a lime, sugar, chile powder, a little salt and a pinch of cayenne (optional).

2. Put the fruit on a serving platter or individual plates, and serve with lemon or lime wedges.

Recipe: French-style fruit

Ingredients
  • Fresh fruit, pitted and halved
  • Unsalted butter, melted
  • Sugar
Preparation

1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or broiler to low heat and place the rack about 4 inches from the heat source.

2. Brush the fruit with melted, unsalted butter on both sides; sprinkle the cut side of the fruit with sugar.

3. Put the fruit directly on the rack, cut side up. (If you’re worried about the slices falling through the grate, thread them on soaked wooden skewers.) Cook until fruit is soft and glazed, about 10 minutes. Optional: Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Recipe: Oven-dried fruit

Ingredients
  • Fresh fruit, pitted and halved
Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 225 degrees F. Set 2 wire racks on top of 2 (preferably rimmed) baking sheets. Put the fruit on the racks, cut side down. Put the pans in the oven and forget about them for 2 hours.

2. Turn the sheets around and check on the fruit. After 2 to 3 hours, the flesh will still be moist. The longer they stay in the oven, the drier and smaller they’ll get; the flavors will concentrate too.

3. Check them every couple of hours until you get the hang of the process; after a couple batches you’ll know how long it takes to get them as you like. (To store finished fruit: if still soft and moist, wrap and refrigerate the pieces for several days or freeze for month. If they’re totally dry, dark, and leathery, you can store them in a jar in the pantry for up to several months.)

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