In the Kitchen Featuring: Local Nectarines

Vegan Nectarine-Banana-Mango Smoothie_IMG_8343Nectarine-Banana-Mango Smoothie

Smoothies are great because they’re easy for breakfast or just a simple snack. Serves 1-2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh nectarine
  • One large banana, chopped and frozen (frozen bananas add a creaminess factor without the dairy)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • Water, if needed

Directions: Blend together all ingredients, except honey until smooth. Add a little water, if necessary, to thin it out a bit.

Nectarine, Radish & Jalapeño Salsa_IMG_8219Nectarine, Radish & Jalapeño Salsa

A new twist to salsa! This is delicious on fish or pork tacos, or simply as a chip dip. If you feel like taking a more hors d’oeuvres. route, serve it as a bruschetta topper paired with sliced, lightly toasted crostini. Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh nectarines, diced
  • 6-8 radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds removed, and cubed
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño or Serrano chili, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 TBL fresh lime juice
  • 1 TBL chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • A pinch or two of sugar, optional

Directions: Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl and mix well. Let the salsa stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Fresh Summer Fruit Salad with a SummertimeFresh Summer Fruit Salad with a Summertime Peach White Balsamic Reduction

These are some of my favorite summertime flavors, all topped with a light, syrupy peach balsamic reduction. It’s not your run-of-the-mill fruit salad! You can always try basil in place of the mint for another new twist on this classic dish. It also makes an absolutely amazing ice cream topper or a delightful fruit shortcake with fresh whipped cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh nectarine, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries and/or blueberries
  • 1/3 cup Sigona’s Summertime peach white balsamic (our pineapple balsamic would be another great option)
  • 1 TBL chopped fresh mint or basil, depending on which flavor you’d like to incorporate

Directions: Combine all the fruits together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Add the balsamic to a small skillet over medium high heat. Bring to a light boil, stirring, and cook for two minutes. Stir in the mint and remove from the heat.

Drizzle the reduction over the fruit. Gently fold to mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes an absolutely amazing ice cream topper or a delightful fruit shortcake with fresh whipped cream.

Seared Cherries and Sweet Nectarines with a Balsamic Reduction

This dish is delicious and gorgeous! Fruits naturally caramelize beautifully when seared or grilled because their natural sugars come out over the heat, making for good color and flavor. It comes together in a snap, too. Adapted from Cooking Light. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. butter, divided
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 8-12 cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Summertime peach white balsamic
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or mascarpone
  • A pinch salt

Directions: Melt 1 tsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir in 1/2 tsp. thyme. Add nectarines, cut sides down, to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Place 1 nectarine half, cut side up, on each of 4 serving plates.

Melt remaining butter in pan; stir in remaining thyme. Add cherries, cut sides down, to pan; cook 2 minutes or until browned. Divide cherry halves evenly among each plate.

Add balsamic to pan; cook over medium-low heat until reduced to about 2 TBL (about 3 minutes). Cool slightly. Spoon about 2 teaspoons crème fraîche (or mascarpone) into the center of each nectarine half; drizzle about 1 tsp. balsamic reduction over each serving.

To taste, if desired, sprinkle each nectarine half with a pinch of salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Doing so brings out the flavors in this dish.

Grilled Pork & Nectarine Kabobs with a Summertime Peach Balsamic Marinade

Pork is delicious when paired with fruit (pork chops & applesauce sound familiar?), but I like how the nectarines how this dish brings the flavor factor to the next level, especially paired with fresh rosemary and peach balsamic. Makes about 6-8 skewers.

Ingredients:

  • About 3/4 – 1 lb. pork tenderloin OR 2 whole medium chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (Note: meat cubes should be slightly smaller so everything cooks at the same rate)
  • 2 nectarines, skin on, cut into large cubes
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks (3+ layers thick)
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Summertime peach white balsamic (Mix it up! Use our pineapple or mango balsamic instead)
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBL chopped fresh rosemary
  • One large bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
  • Optional: pineapple chunks and/or small mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed

Equipment:

  • 6-10 wooden or metal skewers (Note: If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 10 minutes before skewering the ingredients. This helps so they won’t catch on fire while grilling.)

Directions: Place all the ingredients in a large, sealable plastic bag. Seal it and give it a good shake. Allow ingredients to marinate at least 2 hours or overnight. Flip at least once while marinating.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove ingredients from the bag, reserving the marinade. Evenly thread on onion, meat, nectarines, peppers and other fruit or veggie of choice onto each skewer. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Place assembled skewers on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning every 3 minutes.

Kabobs are done when meat is cooked through and they have nice grill marks. (Final internal cooking temp for pork is 145F; final internal cooking temp for chicken is 165F).

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