Now that it’s finally summer, all I want is fresh, light, seasonal and simple meals. One of my favorite summer activities is shopping at local farmer’s markets when all the produce is so fresh and vibrant. The variety of colorful, delicious, and unique summertime produce is incredible! I highly recommend incorporating as many of the summertime fruits into your meals and menus while they are so good. Enjoy these summery recipes.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken & Peaches

Photo by notenoughcinnamon

Serves 6-8

This salad is the perfect flavor combination. I love the sweet peaches mixed with the tangy dressing and crunchy arugula and nuts. This salad is great with leftover roasted or grilled chicken too.

  • 2-3 peaches (you can use pineapple here if you do not have peaches), sliced in 2-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 chicken breast halves, chicken cutlets, thin cut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 5 cups washed baby arugula
  • ½ cup of chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 red onion sliced

Dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Slice the peaches in about 2 inch slices and toss with canola oil. In a separate dish, season chicken breast with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice.

Heat outdoor or indoor grill to about 375°F. Grill peaches for about 2 minutes each side, until grill marks appear, and peaches are softened but not mushy. Set aside.

Next grill the chicken about 3-4 minutes each side, until cooked through. Slice the chicken in strips or cubes and set aside.

For the dressing: Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad: On a platter spread arugula, layer with grilled chicken, peaches, sliced onion and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Dress and serve.

Mango Asian Slaw

Photo by poshjournal.com

Serves 6 - 8

This is one of my favorite salads. Its colorful, delicious, light and best of all super easy to make. It can also be made a few hours in advance since the cabbage takes longer to soften.

  • 1 bag (12 ounce) shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 bag (12 ounce) shredded carrots
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut up in ½ inch dice
  • 1 mango, cut up in cubes or thinly sliced

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of sesame oil
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon sriracha (depending on how spicy you prefer)

In a large bowl mix both bags of shredded cabbage and carrot. Add in chopped scallions, cubed avocado and mango.

For the dressing: Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha.

Dress the salad and mix to combine.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Cherries

Photo by heatherchristo.com

Serves 4, can be doubled

This chicken is the perfect Friday night or weeknight dinner and uses seasonal sweet cherries.

  • 2 cups pitted cherries
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 fresh sprigs of rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl combine cherries, olive oil, orange juice, and balsamic vinegar and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add oil and when oil is hot, brown chicken, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken over, add garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs, tucking the rosemary and garlic all around. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add cherry mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Alternatively, place chicken in oven-safe baking dish. Put garlic and rosemary around chicken, tucking it into the pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour cherry mixture over chicken. Roast for 45 minutes, until chicken is golden and cooked through.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler with Fresh Basil

Photo by kristineskitchenblog.com

Serves 8

Fruit based desserts are a family favorite. Everyone loves them! My healthier eaters devour this dessert and my chocolate smores lovers agree that this dessert is a summertime winner too. Serve with vanilla ice cream for the perfect summer night dessert. The fresh basil gives this a summer zing, but omit it if you don’t have any fresh basil around.

For the fruit mixture:

  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 6-8 peaches, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil

For the crumble:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup of room temperature margarine (I use the earth balance oil sticks)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix blueberries, peaches, lemon juice, flour, sugar, and basil and place the fruit mixture in a large serving dish or individual ramekins. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, with a fork, mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, margarine, cinnamon, salt and nuts forming a crumble with coarse chunks. Pour on top of the fruit mixture, pressing a little and spreading to cover.

Place dish on top of sheet pan to catch any pan drippings. Cook the cobbler for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Limonana Sorbet

Photo by betterbutter.in

Serves 4-6

Light, refreshing and so delicious! Everytime I travel to Israel I look forward to trying as many limonana as I can. The refreshing and sweet combo is perfect for a hot summer day.

  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water, divided
  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup of fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vodka (omit for children but it keeps it from getting too icy)

In a saucepan, melt sugar in 1 cup of water over low heat so that the sugar does not burn.

In a food processor, blend remaining 1 cup water, lemon juice, mint,, honey, vodka (if using) and melted sugar water. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture in a glass container and freeze.

Scoop and serve.