Summer fruits and vegetables abound this time of year. Here are a few recipes using some of that bounty.

Summer fruits and vegetables abound this time of year. Here are a few recipes using some of that bounty.



Summer Squash and Asparagus Farfalle Dish

2 cups uncooked Farfalle pasta, cook according to package directions

pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into inch coins

1 medium zucchini, cut into inch coins

orange Bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut in half crosswise

cup chicken broth

cup half and half or cream

1 tablespoon fresh sweet basil chopped

1 cup shredded Pepper Jack or Mexican mix cheese

Cook farfalle according to package directions. Add asparagus to the boiling water the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain. Set aside.

In a large skillet with a little oil cook pepper strips, and zucchini and squash coins until crisp tender, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Add pasta mixture, broth, and half and half, stir mixing well. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in sweet basil. Sprinkle top with cheese and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.


Caprese Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomato mixture makes a nice presentation for this recipe.

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into inch wedges

1 pound mozzarella cheese, cubes or balls

3 stalks celery, chopped

cup fresh sweet basil, chopped

1/3 cup EVOO, olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, celery, sweet basil, and mozzarella. In a cup stir together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, pour over tomato mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.


Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

Serves 4.

1 teaspoon EVOO, olive oil

2 thick slices smoked bacon

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

cup dried cranberries

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

cup chicken broth

Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towels; cool and crumble, set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil and 2 tablespoons bacon drippings over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook stirring often, until beginning to soften about 5-7 minutes. Lower heat and add onion and butter; cook, stirring often until onion is soft about 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet, increase heat, and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until broth has evaporated about 2- minutes. Stir in cranberries, crumbled bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Shrimp Salad

Serves 4. If shrimp are large cut in half.

pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and flash cooked

Old Bay Seasoning

1 stalk celery

1 carrot

4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

2 carrots, shredded or grated

medium sweet onion, finely chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup good mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional

Lettuce leaves

Flash cook shrimp in boiling water with a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning, one celery stalk cut into 2-inch pieces, and one carrot cut into 1-inch pieces. When water boils, add shrimp and let cook for 2-minutes until shrimp just turn pink. Drain and rinse shrimp off with cold water. Place shrimp in a bowl of ice water to chill; let sit for about 5 minutes then drain. Set aside.

In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, and mustard; set aside.

In a large bowl, gently stir together shrimp, eggs, carrots, and onion. Add mayonnaise mixture to shrimp and toss until coated. Toss in cherry tomatoes. Chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Serve over lettuce leaves.


Peach Salsa

Makes 2 cups. Nectarines may be substituted.

2 cups peeled and cubed fresh peaches (about 3 large peaches)

cup red onion, finely chopped

cup Vidalia or sweet onion finely chopped

cup green or red Bell pepper, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lime zest

Juice of one lime or to taste

cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a bowl combine peaches, onion, cilantro, peppers, and lime zest, toss to mix. Add lime juice, stir gently and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.


Cantaloupe-Cottage Cheese-Blueberry Boats

1 ripe cantaloupe, cut into four large wedges, seeds removed

1 cup fresh blueberries

2 cups cottage cheese

Dash of ground cinnamon, optional

Wash cantaloupe under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut cantaloupe in quarters, making 4 boats, remove seeds and place on four serving plates. Place one half cup cottage cheese in each cup of cantaloupe. Top with cup blueberries and a dash of cinnamon, if deisred. Chill before serving if desired.


Peach and Raspberry Treat

2 packages fresh raspberries

4 medium ripe peaches, peeled and sliced, about 2 cups

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 8-ounce container peach yogurt

teaspoon vanilla extract

1 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed

3 tablespoons Orange liqueur, I use Grand Marnier (Optional)

1 rectangular sponge cake ( about 12 ounces) cut into 1-inch cubes

In a saucepan stir raspberries and cornstarch until coated. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Strain raspberry seeds through a strainer, cover and refrigerated.

In a large bowl mix yogurt . orange liqueur, and vanilla extract; fold in whipped topping.

In a large bowl layer half of the cake cubes, yogurt mixture, and peach slices. Repeat layers. Refrigerate covered at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with raspberry sauce.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.