The motto “what grows together goes together,” has been practiced by Italians since the beginning of time. Or at least as long as Italian grannies have been sharing the secrets of their fresh, simple, ingredient-centric cooking. We can all learn a thing or two from this wisdom, especially when it comes to planning delicious, fresh, vegetable-focused recipes, every season of the year.
Summer is ripe for the picking. Many of the most covetable fruits and vegetables are available at this time: vine-ripened tomatoes, flavor-bursting berries, sweet stone fruits and prolific summer squash.
All of these ingredients are exceptionally flavorful on their own or paired with complementary ingredients, but they’re also delicious when combined with their seasonal compatriots. The recipes that follow are creative twists using two or more of these swoon-worthy summer foods, so you can maximize the bounty of the season at every meal.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND PLUM SALAD
- 2 pounds (900g) tomatoes, halved
- 1 pound (450g) ripe stone fruits, sliced
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Pinch fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 cup (30g) toasted almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/4 cup (13g) chives, chopped
- 8 ounces (225g) mozzarella, halved
- Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
- Zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C); position the oven rack to the top third of the oven.
Now, halve ( or slice) your tomatoes (a mix of small heirlooms and cherry tomatoes) and stone fruit (a mix of plums, apricots, pluots or nectarines). You want all the pieces to be about the same size, so use the cherry tomatoes as a guide for how small to slice them all. You’re going to roast half of the fruits and tomatoes.
Toss the tomatoes and stone fruit you will be roasting gently (but well) in a bowl along with the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Then, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Allow the fruits to bake, without stirring, for roughly 45–60 minutes or until they’ve shrunk a bit and have started to caramelize around the edges. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, halve the mozzarella, grate the lemon peel, and chop the chives and basil leaves.
When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw fruits, most of the almonds, most of the chives and basil as well as all of the capers and the mozzarella. Taste and season with a bit more salt, if needed. Serve topped with a sprinkling of almonds, chives and basil.
Serves: 12 | Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 190; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 13mg; Sodium: 129mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 9g
PEACH AND ARUGULA PASTA WITH TOMATOES AND BURRATA
- 1 pint (275g) grape tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
- 1 peach, diced
- 1 clove garlic, grated finely
- 6 ounces (170g) whole-grain dried pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups (40g) arugula, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
- 4 small balls burrata
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of well-salted water, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Then drain completely.
While the pasta is cooking, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and sauté until the tomatoes begin to break down slightly, 4–5 minutes. Add the peaches and garlic and continue to cook until the peaches break down slightly, 2–3 minutes. Add the pasta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 cup of cooking water and cook until a glossy sauce forms, coating the pasta — another 3–5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the chopped arugula, tossing to wilt.
Divide the pasta between bowls. Top each bowl with 1 small ball of burrata as well as the chopped basil, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 374; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 10g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 49mg; Sodium: 262mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 18g
READ MORE > WHAT GROWS TOGETHER GOES TOGETHER: COOKING SPRING VEGETABLES
- 3 large avocados
- 1 large peach, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted
Using a sharp knife, cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a medium bowl.
Add the lime juice and zest, jalapenos, 1/2 of the cilantro and 2/3 of the chopped red onion, as well as a bit of kosher salt, a few cracks of fresh pepper and a pinch of the crushed red pepper. Mash the mixture together with a fork and taste. Add salt and pepper, crushed red pepper or lime juice, if necessary. Top with the chopped peaches, remaining red onion and cilantro. Sprinkle with pepitas. Serve immediately.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 123; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 187mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 2g
BERRY GRANOLA BREAKFAST CRUMBLE
For the crumble
- 1 1/2 cups (135g) quick oats
- 1/4 cup (45g) coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup (35g) oat flour
- 1 cup (140g) raw almonds, chopped roughly
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the fruit filling
- 1 1/2 pounds (640g) mixed berries, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons raw cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon oat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-by-13-inch pan, combine the peach slices with the berries, lemon juice, coconut sugar, oat flour, cinnamon and salt. Gently toss the ingredients so the fruit is evenly coated.
Next, make the granola topping: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Turn off the heat and add the maple syrup, oats, coconut sugar, oat flour, almonds, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until the oats are well-coated and small clumps of granola batter form. You aren’t cooking the granola mixture here — just avoiding using a separate bowl to incorporate all the ingredients so once the mixture is nicely combined, sprinkle the granola evenly over the pear mixture in the pan.
Place the crumble on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45–55 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling. Check the crumble at 25 minutes. If the granola starts to brown faster than the fruit cooks, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Remove the foil again in the last 5 minutes of baking so the granola crisps.
Eat immediately with a big dollop of yogurt. The crisp keeps well; cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to one week for breakfast on the fly.
Serves: 12 | Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 250; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 19mg; Sodium: 119mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 19g; Protein: 4g
Originally published July 2020, updated August 2022.
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