Fresh summer fruits are a must for any summer outdoor fare. Chef Ric Orlando from the New World Home Cooking Companyhas some delicious new ways to enjoy the best fresh fruits of the season — with a twist. Check out his recipes here:
Strawberry, Tomato and Basil Salad on Goat Cheese Bruschette
For the dressing1 cup balsamic vinegar1/4 cup dry red wine 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce2 tablespoons turbinado sugarPut all of the dressing ingredients in a nonreactive pot, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Cool.
For the salad3 cups ripe strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise2 cups ripe tomatoes, diced 20 to 25 fresh basil leavesCoarsely ground black pepperFruity extra-virgin olive oilTear or gently chop the basil into bite-size pieces. Add the strawberries, tomatoes and chopped basil to the cooled dressing, and fold gently together.
For the toast
12 1/2-inch thick slices Italian or French bread.8 ounces "Fromage Blanc" (mild, soft goat cheese)Gently toast the bread slices in a toaster oven or broiler. Spread with a schmear of goat cheese.
With a slotted spoon, put a spoonful of berries and basil onto the goat cheese toasts. Drizzle with some of the remaining dressing and grind a little more black pepper on the top, if you like.
Grilled Plum and Blue Cheese Pita Sandwiches
Serves 42 flat Greek-style pita loaves2 bunches watercress or arugula1 cup crumbled blue cheese (Valdeon is my favorite)1/4 cup pitted calamata olives, coarsely chopped4 big, medium-ripe plumsA bunch of fresh oreganoOlive oil, salt and pepper
Spread 2 ounces of the crumbled blue cheese in the center of each pita. Add a few leaves of watercress or arugula. Sprinkle with a few leaves of fresh oregano and the chopped olives. Set aside. Slice the plums in 1/4-inch slices, cutting around the pit. Toss the plums with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill the plums until nice dark grill marks appear. Remove the plums from the grill and arrange down the center of each pita. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Put each pita on the grill just to warm for a few seconds, then roll 'em up and enjoy!
Grilled Pork Medallions With a Neo-Southern Peach-Peanut-Vidalia Onion Relish
This smokey-spicy relish is great on turkey, chicken or any steak fish (like mahi mahi). Remember to save some of the dressing to baste the meat and — very important — remember to add the peaches just a few minutes before serving.Serves 4
1 large Vidalia onion, quartered and julienned1 red bell pepper, short julienne (about 1-inch matchsticks)1 green bell pepper, short julienne1/2 cup grated carrots2 chipotle chile en adobo, minced2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves4 tablespoons cilantro, minced4 tablespoons molasses1 tablespoon Dijon mustard4 tablespoons orange juice4 tablespoons cider vinegar4 tablespoons peanut oil2 tablespoons juice from chipotle chilesPinch of cinnamonPinch of clovesSalt and pepper 4 medium ripe peaches, sliced into half moons (added at the last minute)4 pork loin medallions, 3 to 4 ounces each, cut 3/4-inch thick
In a nonreactive bowl, mix together onion, green and red pepper, carrots and chipotle chile en adobo. In another bowl, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients, *except* the peaches, to form the dressing. Set aside about half of the dressing mixture for basting your meat. Add the rest of the dressing to the vegetable/chile mixture and gently toss together to make the relish. Reserve relish in the refrigerator until ready to serve or up to 24 hours. Baste meat with the reserved dressing, and add the peaches to the relish a few minutes before the meat is ready. Serve and enjoy!