(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Temperatures rise in summer. Let the temp climb, too, for just a few minutes in your kitchen when it comes to preparing summer fruit and you are in for an unrivaled treat.
"Preparing" warm weather fruit? Aren't they juicy and perfect, just chilled and by the handful? No doubt about that. On the outdoor grill, too. When you heat that way, you get a wonderful smoky effect.
Less known, and the most intensely flavored of all, though, is a quick roast. Summer fruit is my favorite food and revisiting roasting is my most-loved technique. Roasting occurs at high temperatures --- usually 400 F and above --- and as far as delicate summer fruit goes, does its trick in just a few minutes.
Wonderful as is, like the roasted cherries that follow that are made with a touch of sugar, butter and kirsch (the cherry-flavored brandy), they also make terrific and easy adornments. The cherries also can drape ice cream or pound cake for a super simple, yet extremely memorable dessert.
Roasted fruit also can become part and parcel of an imaginative recipe, like the peach bruschetta (topped Italian roasted bread) below.
Here are some additional refreshing fruits that are outstanding for roasting and flavors to include brushed and dotted atop them that are especially compatible. Pit the stone fruit first and slice. Bananas can be roasted with peel until slightly blackened or, roasted for less time if peeled. Roast all of the fruit at 400 F.
- Plums: Grape juice, butter, honey, thyme
- Nectarines: White wine, butter, sugar, rosemary
- Pineapples: Lemon juice, butter, molasses, candied orange peel
- Raspberries: Red wine, butter, sugar, dark chocolate
- Bananas: Caramel sauce, butter, finely chopped macadamia nuts
Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The food tips take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted (see Note)
1/3 cup sugar, or more to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup kirsch
Yields 4 servings.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter a large shallow baking pan.
Spread the cherries in a single layer in the pan, sprinkle with the sugar and dot with the butter. Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, add the kirsch and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Carefully transfer the cherries and cooking liquid to a serving bowl and let cool. Serve at room temperature.
Good as is, or as a topping for slightly softened ice cream or over toasted pound cake.
Note: Pitting the cherries goes much faster with a cherry pitter, available in most kitchenware stores. ROASTED PEACH BRUSCHETTA
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices day-old firm bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 medium fresh peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see Note)
1/4 cup sugar or honey, or to taste Ground cinnamon, to taste (see Note)
Yields 4 servings.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Spread each bread slice with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and top with the fruit and sugar or honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Carefully transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the fruit is nicely glazed.
Note: Fresh nectarines or plums may be substituted for peaches. Freshly grated nutmeg may be substituted for cinnamon.
-Recipes from Reasons to Roast: More than 100 Simple and Intensely Flavored Recipes. QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Michael Gibney's Sous Chef
had been named one of the 10 best nonfiction books of the year by TIME Magazine and recently was published in paperback. Uniquely, it covers just 24 hours in an elegant New York City restaurant with the tension of a novel and the excitement of a thriller. In the end, there is even a helpful food glossary. These tasty topics all came up within that one day:
- Boquerones: Mild white anchovies marinated in vinegar and olive oil with garlic and parsley; a common Spanish tapa.
- Boudin blanc: A pork-based "pudding"-style sausage common in French, Belgian, and Cajun cuisine, which typically contains liver, heart, milk, and sometimes eggs and other ingredients.
- Cervelle de veau: Veal brains.
- Evasee: A saucepan whose circumference at its top is greater than that at its base, used primarily for evaporating liquids.
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.