There's only one thing in my mind that rivals the warmth and fun of summer: the taste of summer. Fresh ripe berries, summer squash, right-off-the-vine tomatoes-not much compares to these magnificently flavorful foods.
As you swing into summertime, here are a few fresh ideas for seasonal snacks and sippers.
1. Homemade Berry Juices or Spritzers
Making homemade juice from berries is as simple as boiling water, mashing some fruit, and adding some ice, honey or sugar, and a sprig of mint, if you please. Add some fizz by including a dash of soda water. For the freshest flavor, use berries picked on a local farm (pickyourown.org is a great place for finding a farm near you).
2. Watermelon Sorbet
Whipping up sorbet might sound time-consuming, but it's oh-so-simple. To make cool, satisfying sorbet from watermelon, you only need four ingredients! Find complete instructions in the article In Praise of Watermelon.
3. Preserved Tomatoes
Tomatoes bought in the grocery store at any ol' time of the year have nothing on homegrown, summer tomatoes (in terms of flavor, nutritional value and more). If you want to enjoy that incomparable tomato flavor year-round, try some different food-preservation techniques. Preserving Garden Tomatoes will tell you your options and lead you through making all kinds of recipes.
4. Classic Pesto
This is another summer treat that only requires a few ingredients to make. Follow the simple recipe in Pesto: Full of Flavor! and toss your finished product with pasta, dip veggie slices in it, blend it with cream cheese for a spread ... the list could go on. Pesto is easy to preserve for later use by making pesto cubes with an ice cube tray. Store the cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
5. Cucumber Mint Salad
I've always loved classic, vinegary cucumber and onion salads-but even more delightful and much more unique is a cucumber mint salad with an olive oil and maple syrup dressing. Get the full instructions for making this dish in Healthy Summer Recipes.
I hope you enjoy these ideas! Just for fun, please leave a comment and let everyone know your favorite way to delight in the flavors of summer.