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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feeling a Little Fruity

Even though we're in the last day of August--and are heading into fall--fruit still abounds.  Melons are a little harder to come across these days (I found some nice ones at Bolton's Farm Market in Silverdale--as well as some of the most delicious blackberries I've ever had).  Peaches are still available for a while and, of course, local pears and apples are starting to grace our markets.

On Sunday, I did an appetizer party and 3 of the dishes I did were using fruit.  I thought I'd put the recipes out here so you can try them before fresh fruit isn't available.  They're incredibly easy and even more incredibly tasty.

Melon with Prosciutto (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) and Balsamic Reduction

1 medium cantaloupe, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
8-10 slices of Prosciutto de Parma
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced

• Heat vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Set aside to cool slightly.
• Meanwhile, wrap melon chunks in pieces of prosciutto torn by hand. For non-meat eaters, grate cheese over melon chunks.
• Using a spoon, drizzle balsamic reduction over melon to taste. Garnish with mint.

Pears and Gorgonzola

Pears, sliced to desired size
Gorgonzola cheese
Fresh thyme leaves, slightly chopped
Ground black pepper

• Preheat oven to 350.
• Place pear slices on sheet pan and top each with a small portion of the cheese.
• Place pan in oven until cheese just starts to melt—only a few minutes.
• Move pears to serving platter and garnish with thyme and pepper.

Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Honey

6 peaches (ripe, but not too soft), halved & pitted
Vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup honey
¼ cup bourbon

• Brush the cut side of the peaches with veg oil. Season with nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.
• In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the honey and bourbon, stirring to blend.
• Grill peaches, 3-4 minutes, cut side down. Turn, baste with honey/bourbon mixtures and grill, skin side down, for another 5 minutes or just until soft on the outside.
• To serve, cut in wedges or cubes. Or keep halves intact and serve with a scoop of good ice cream on top. Also makes a great accompaniment to grilled fish or meat.

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