If you are not a fan of the extreme heat, you probably have a few silver linings you look forward to during the hot summer months. July and August give us a bounty of produce, and three of my favorites are tomatoes, peaches, and watermelon. I hope you will enjoy these recipes to help you make the most of the bounty from your home garden or local farmer's market. A classic tomato gazpacho gets a sweet boost from watermelon, a BLT gets a flavorful kick from curry powder and fresh rosemary, and a sweet summer peach crumble gets a savory crunch from crisp bacon.
Tomato & Watermelon Gazpacho
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks.
- 1 cup seedless watermelon, diced
- 1 cup diced crusty bread
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 ice cubes
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced for garnish
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the watermelon, the crusty bread, cucumber, onion, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and ice cubes. Purée until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Chill for an hour before serving.
Serve, garnished with remaining chopped watermelon, avocado, and cilantro.
Curried Rosemary-Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich
I love a great BLT sandwich. I like to bake my bacon on a rack over a foil-lined sheet pan. After laying out the bacon, sprinkle the slices with chopped fresh rosemary. Cook the bacon at 350 degrees until it reaches your desired level of crispness. Also, I like to spice up the mayo by mixing the curry powder into it. Other seasonings work great as well. Try basil, gochujang, or even black garlic.
- 2 slices sourdough bread, toasted
- a handful of fresh arugula
- 1 large vine-ripened tomato, sliced thick
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped and chopped
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon (I used the Mangalitsa bacon from Fresh From OK Farms.)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix the curry powder with the mayonnaise and allow it to stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Spread each slice of the bread with the curried mayonnaise. Arrange the arugula and tomato on one slice of bread and season with salt and cracked pepper. Top with the rosemary bacon. Slice in half and serve immediately. A cold slice of salted watermelon makes the perfect side.
Maple Bourbon Peach Crumble with Candied Bacon
This easy-to-make dessert mixes ripe peaches, with the warmth and richness of bourbon and maple syrup. Candied bacon adds a sweet & savory crunch.
- 2 pounds fresh Porter peaches, cut into thick slices
- 3/4 C granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp Bourbon
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
To prepare the filling
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to macerate while you prepare the topping.
For the topping:
- 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized bits
- 1/4 C light-brown sugar
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- ¼ C sliced almonds
- ¼ C rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp softened butter, for greasing baking dish
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Candied bacon (recipe below), crumbled, for garnish
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1/3 C light brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Dredge each bacon slice on both sides through the sugar mixture.
Place the bacon on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the bacon), once crisp, place on a paper towel to drain. Chop or hand crumble and set aside.
Combine the cold butter, brown sugar, flour, almonds, and oats in a bowl. Work quickly to blend, rubbing the butter & dry ingredients between your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
To assemble the crumble, use the softened butter to grease an 8x8 baking dish. Pour in the filling, and top with the crumble mixture. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 40 minutes until bubbling and the crust is golden. If needed, tent loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Serve topped with vanilla ice cream and candied bacon crumbles.