Summer is quickly coming to an end, and for many of us that means we need to pack in as much as possible of the season’s last bounty of stone fruits.
If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy them, try any of these 5 ways to cook with stone fruits in savory recipes. And enjoy the last sweet bites of summer!
Stone fruits—cherries, nectarines, plums, peaches—are ripe just about all around the country right now, and that means the pickin’ is literally great for these luscious fruits and for adding to these recipes.
1. Add to a chicken, pork, or turkey roast. Roughly chop the stone fruits of choice, and use as you would vegetables in a recipe for roasted meat: toss with herbs and spices, olive oil, and other ingredients, and cook in a covered roasting pan with your desired meat. The end result will be a slightly caramelized, incredibly soft cooked fruit sauce that gives your meat a sweet-meets-savory pan sauce. Bonus: once cooked, remove the meat from the roasting pan, and reduce the fruit sauce into a thick, pourable gravy.
2. Substitute for tomatoes in any salsa recipe. Pull virtually any salsa recipe out of a hat and use chopped stone fruit in place of the tomatoes. Whether you’re using chipotle or jalapeno peppers, basil or cilantro, lemon juice or lime, the sweet fruits in the mix deliver a sweet surprise that mingles deliciously with the salty, spicy flavors of a salsa.
3. Puree with BBQ sauce for a kickin’ new glaze. If you love BBQs because they allow you to smother your foods in glazes and dipping sauces, you’ve got to try this: combine chopped stone fruit of choice with BBQ sauce in a food processor, and puree until smooth or chunky-smooth (also add in a can of smoky chipotle peppers for even more kick!). Serve as you would any BBQ sauce—over potatoes, burgers, and grilled sammies, or as a glaze for meats and tofu on the grill.
4. Toss into a sauceless pasta dish for color and tang. Chopped stone fruit is incredible in pasta when mixed with fresh herbs, a simple vinaigrette, and perhaps some crumbled salty cheese. Especially good in this mix is goat cheese and basil, and perhaps a vinaigrette of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
5. Cook down into a saucy compote or chutney. Compotes and chutneys are basically cooked salsas served with savory dishes like roasted meats, stir-fries, or samosas. To do it, cook down chopped stone fruit with spices of choice (Indian spices like cardamom, cloves, or ginger are all great options) with a few pinches of sugar and splashes of cooking acid like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or wine. Cook and mash until desired consistency is reached, then serve warm or chilled.
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