July 2018 Fruit-Based Side Dishes

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

Miles Kington

What fun we had on Independence Day this year, celebrating the big holiday with different fruit-based side dishes. And since we’re still feeling a little ‘fruity,’ let’s keep that vibe rolling this month.

Here in Minnesota we in the throes of all things berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries – they’re all peaking right now and it’s a glorious time to be a fan of nature’s sweet offerings. Watermelons and cantaloupes are also coming in nicely this time of year and we’ve begun getting shipment upon shipment of beautiful Georgia peaches. Seriously, what’s not to love about this time of year?! Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!

So if you’re like us and you enjoy shopping the produce aisles during the seasonal swings, we know your basket is heaped with some naturally-sugary beauties this time of year. Aside from eating fruit whole, there is so much fun to be had with all these goodies.

Something that may be new to you that we’re, quite frankly, so stoked about is grilling our fruit. Yes, grilling. Move over burgers and steaks, there’s a new kid at the BBQ party that’s demanding some time over the fire.

Now, not all fruits make good grillers. Look for produce that is firm and maybe even a little under ripe. Those bananas on your counter that are starting to get their delicious dark freckles … leave them for baking. But your peaches that are still strong and don’t offer a lot of give when squeezed … those are the ticket!

It’s also going to be super important that you keep this in mind: size matters. Sweet little blueberries and raspberries don’t stand a chance against the grates and flames. Nice wedges of watermelon though – yes, child, yes!

Speaking of wedges of watermelon, Jerry’s Foods has something you’re going to LOVE! Our Easier Fresh Cuts have taken the guesswork out of selecting the right piece(s) of fruit, the time of trimming and cutting as you prep your fruit for grilling, and the problem of storing large produce in your already jam-packed refrigerator (oh we know, we know … those fridges are always a crowded catastrophe, we get it). We think you’ll agree, Easier Fresh Cuts are going to make a world of difference in your life and your recipes!

Alright, get that grill nice and warm. Kick it up to medium-high and let those grates get nice and toasty. Brush a little flavorless or neutral-tasting oil on the grates just before laying down your selections to prevent sticking. If you’re really feeling up for the culinary experience, sugar the side(s) of the fruit that will hit the grill. It’ll caramelize up nicely and provide a really nice kiss of extra sweetness.

And don’t be afraid to get a little wild and have fun experimenting! Grilling fresh fruit really brings out some unique and bold flavors. Adding a little extra spice during the cooking process may bring about something you never dreamed would taste so fun! Chili powder on pineapples? Give it a try! Cinnamon on peaches? You’ll adore that blend. Ground cloves on orange halves? Now you’re talkin’!

Finally, just like a good steak, be sure to let your grilled fruit enjoy their time on the heat. Don’t be tempted to take them off too soon. You’ll miss out on those gorgeous grill lines and could be sacrificing some of the flavor if you’re hasty in removing your little sizzlers too early.

Feeling up for the challenge? We’ve got a fun recipe for you to try as you dip your toes into the grilled fruit pool. Soon though, we’re sure you’ll feel like a fruit grilling professional. Just don’t forget to invite us over to your next picnic, ok?

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

Ingredients and supplies

  • 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 16 oz. container pre-cut Easier Fresh Cuts watermelon (chunks or spears)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup balsamic dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
 

Directions

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high/high heat.
  2. Sprinkle watermelon with light dashes of salt/pepper. If using Easier Fresh Cuts chunks and some of them are too small for your grates, pierce with a wooden skewer for easier grilling.
  3. Brush grill grates with olive oil just prior to adding fruit. Place seasoned watermelon on grill quickly, getting just a slight char (about 30 seconds each side).
  4. Toss arugula with 1-2 tsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. If using Easier Fresh Cuts spears, slice into cubes. Place watermelon cubes on plate, top with feta, and 1 cup of arugula mixture.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.