Bite into fresh fruits and vegetables this month

What better time to celebrate fresh fruits and vegetables than the first month of summer? June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and we have two delicious recipes featuring fresh Virginia produce.

Make a fruity-licious dessert from Virginia Grown. Or create a hearty vegetable salad from Chef John Maxwell, whose recipes appear on Real Virginia, a weekly Virginia Farm Bureau television program.


Summer Fruit Crisp

5 cups Virginia peaches, blueberries, blackberries or nectarines
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ to ½ cup sugar, depending on tartness of the fruit
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts
4 to 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Gently wash the fruit; if using peaches and nectarines, peel and cut into bite-sized pieces. In a large mixing bowl, combine fruit, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch. Place fruit mixture in a baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. 

In another mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, flour, sugars, cinnamon, nuts and butter. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings.  

Smoked Vegetable Salad

4 fresh rosemary sprigs, 6" long with woody stems
4 slices eggplant, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
4 pieces red/green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2”-3" pieces
4 pieces zucchini, cut into 2”-3" pieces
4 pieces yellow squash, cut into 2”-3" pieces
4-6 whole crimini mushrooms
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
4 pieces cauliflower, broken into florets
brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and outer leaves removed
tiny whole red potatoes, blanched if they are of a size that will cook slower than the other vegetables
4 pieces fennel stalk, cut into 2" pieces
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cups mixed lettuce salad

Assembling the dish:

Soak rosemary sprigs in water.

Place vegetable pieces in a large bowl, toss and lightly coat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Squeeze the rosemary free of excess water, and place springs in the bottom of a stovetop smoker. Arrange cut vegetables on the smoker grate, and place the grate on top of the rosemary. Cover the smoker, and heat for 20 minutes or until smoke stops curling from the lid.

Create salad dressing (below).

Place the lettuces in the bottom of a wide bowl, and top with the smoked vegetables. Drizzle with the salad dressing. You may have to whisk the dressing again if the contents have settled.

Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
juice from half a lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Slowly add the oil, whisking vigorously to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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