Once the calendar turns the page to August I always feel time is running out to enjoy all the fresh, crisp flavors of Summertime. At least here in New England, we wait October through June ( 8 months), to see our trees and flowers in full bloom and our vegetable gardens to start reaping the rewards of our dedication to soil and seed.
Strawberries and peaches are classic summertime flavors and lemon, although not grown here in New England, is a perfect compliment to the berry and stone fruit flavors. Because we all should be outdoors enjoying whatever makes us happy, here are some suggestion and recipes for quick easy meals, appetizers or sweet treats.
1. Lemon White Balsamic – works with quick marinades for fish, shrimp and chicken. Add you favorite herb ( tarragon or dill works great here), and salt and pepper. Drizzle over ricotta or goat cheese and sprinkle with sliced fresh figs. Toss or brush on garden fresh veggies with some sea salt and grill or roast. Blackberry and Lemon Chicken thighs are quick and easy too
2. Strawberry Dark Balsamic – always a favorite, the rich flavor of the dark balsamic is the star of any quick dessert that includes a bowl full of fresh berries and either ice cream, gelato or sorbet ( our favorites flavors are Coffee Gelato and Mango Sorbet). Make a dessert pizza using a pre-made flatbread your favorite goat cheese, summer fruit, chocolate sauce and Strawberry Dark Balsamic Drizzle. Here is a recipe for Not Your Mother’s Strawberry Spinach Salad.
3. Peach White Balsamic – the summertime flavor everyone waits for each year it is one that works with so much! Pork, Chicken, Shrimp, Scallops. The pepperiness of fresh pick arugula and the crisp spiciness of jalapeños are a perfect match for the sweet and mildly tart peachiness of the balsamic vinegar. Are you a cocktail lover? Try this white balsamic in a Gin & Tonic (our fav is with Hendricks, Fevertree Tonic, a wedge of fresh cucumber and a few pepper corns). Here is a recipes for a fast and delicious Peachy Summertime baked brie.
All these above flavors pair extremely well with either Lemon Olive Oil or Basil Olive Oil. Lemon needs no explanation for why it just works. However, if you are looking for something a bit unique and bursting with flavor, try Basil Olive Oil with the strawberry dark or peach white balsamic. For the American palate, it is a flavor many times overlooked but should not be. Happy eating!