Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Summer Melon with Basil-Mint Granita

Summer Melon with Basil-Mint Granita

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 3 small melons, halved lengthwise, seeded, each half cut into 8 wedges (about 3/4 inch wide), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves plus 8 fresh sprigs for garnish

Recipe Preparation

  • Mix sugar, chopped mint, basil, and lime peel in medium bowl. Mash with wooden spoon until herbs turn dark green, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and 1 1/4 cups water. Let stand 1 hour. Strain into large bowl, pressing on solids. Transfer 1/2 cup lime syrup to small pitcher; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining lime syrup into 13x9x2-inch metal baking dish. Place dish in freezer. Stir syrup with fork every hour until frozen, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.

  • Divide melon wedges among 8 shallow soup bowls. Drizzle melon with reserved lime syrup. Scrape granita into flakes with fork. Spoon generous 1/2 cup granita atop melon in each bowl. Sprinkle with sliced mint leaves, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve.

Reviews Section

Watermelon infused water

I feel the end of summer vacation coming on. It feels like curled toes at the edge of a cold swimming pool I am not quite ready to jump into. The month of August is the Sunday of summer and I have promised myself to prolong the sense of freedom that goes with loose-fitting timetables indefinitely. My plan is to outrun the seasons by intermingling spontaneity with life’s daily necessities.

Throughout the warm summer I have assembled foods rather than cooking. Weekends have been luxuriously filled with visits to farmers markets and taking home baskets full of new harvest fruits and vegetables.

In the midst of making watermelon granita one lazy afternoon, I marveled at the amount of rind left on the countertop. Rather than discarding them I decided to conduct a kitchen experiment by putting the rinds in a big pan of water to chill in the refrigerator.

A few hours later I was happy to see that the water had turned pale pink. It tasted refreshing without the sweetness of its coral colored part. Watermelon-rind infused water turned out to be this summer’s favorite refreshment. In life’s experimental laboratory — the kitchen — the greatest discoveries happen by chance. Enjoy watermelon-rind infused water as long as the season permits and use the rinds of any organically grown melon to make an original and simple refreshment that looks especially beautiful in a big enamel or aluminum mussel pan.

When Indian summer shows up, use the peels of figs, the stones of plums and the stalks of your garden herbs for a mix and match flavored water that fits with the Sunday picnics of the season.

Ingredients

  • the rinds of one small watermelon
  • six-twelve stalks of fresh green herbs . like basil . mint or dill
  • two liters of fresh cold water

Cut the bright, juicy flesh of the watermelon into cubes for a picnic dessert, to add to a salad or to make granita. Slice the rinds into wedges. Put them in a pan or enamel bucket large enough to accommodate the rinds. Cover them with cold water. Add the stalks of the fresh green herbs available to you. (My personal favorite are the stalks of fresh basil, but mint, dill or even cilantro works well too). Allow the water to infuse at least an hour and up to four hours. Serve the refreshing water with loads of ice cubes or with a wedge of lemon at your next picnic.

Suggested combinations

Serve this water with breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks.

The students at the Prairie Farm Corps in Grayslake, Illinois loved drinking this water with lunch under the shade of the trees this summer.


40 Paleo Watermelon Salads, Smoothies, Drinks & Desserts

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits, and while it’s plenty sugary enough that you don’t want it for every meal, it does have lots of vitamins and is super hydrating. Try some of these delicious watermelon recipes, all paleo-friendly!


1. Purple Carrot, Strawberry, Watermelon, and Lime Smoothie
This yummy smoothie is a beautifully color that won’t give away its vegetable secret. The purple carrot has a sweetness to it that makes it easy to include this nutritious veggie in your morning smoothie. With shredded coconut, mint, lime, and cashews, it’s a flavor you’re going to love.

2. Watermelon Salt Water Taffy
This easy salt water taffy is so much fun to make, and it doesn’t have any added sweetener. It’s crazy how much the texture of rolled-up dehydrator watermelon is similar to salt water taffy. A sprinkle of sea salt on each piece enhances the flavor. I’ve done this with pineapple too, and it’s fantastic!

3. Watermelon Mint Jicama Salad
Jicama, also known as Mexican Potato, is a fun root that you can eat raw. It’s refreshing, crunchy, and has a slightly sweet, almost fruity flavor. I love this raw salad with cubed watermelon, jicama, a big handful of finely chopped mint, lime juice, and cayenne pepper.

4. Red Fruit Salad With Honeyed Yogurt
This yummy salad makes a great dessert, because it’s sweet without being too sweetened, and it has a lovely presentation. You’ll need watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, yogurt (coconut yogurt works well), honey, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves if you’re feeling extra fancy.

5. Watermelon Gazpacho
This is a spicy and sweet cold soup that’s super refreshing and excellent for summer dinners when you don’t want to turn on the oven or stove. It has a bright and cheery yellow color with watermelon, tomato, cucumber, olive oil, red wine vinegar, read onion, and red or yellow bell pepper.


Photo: Healthy Nibbles and Bits

6. Watermelon Strawberry Agua Fresca
Those frescas at Mexican restaurants are delicious, but usually made with added sugar syrups and other sweeteners. Make your own at home with cubed watermelon, strawberries, lime juice, apple cider, lime slices, cucumber slices, and mint leaves.

7. Summer Melon Smoothie
This summer melon smoothie is sweet and refreshing, and it’s one of my favorite drinks during most of the year, since I live in a hot climate. Let this melon hydrate you, the ginger cleanse you, and the strawberries and bananas provide a sweet flavor and pink hue.

8. Minty Watermelon Frosty
I love watermelon and mint together, and this frosty is the perfect way to enjoy them. You’ll need frozen watermelon, mint leaves, lemon juice, and something to sweeten the frosty if necessary. Instead of sugar, you can use coconut sugar, honey, etc.

9. Super Simple Watermelon Gazpacho
The more elaborate watermelon gazpacho recipes are certainly fabulous, but sometimes you want something a little simpler. This recipe is made with ripe tomatoes, yellow watermelon, lime juice, and a dash of salt. if you want, you can garnish it with mint leaves and cubes of frozen watermelon.

10. Naturally Sweetened Watermelon Agua Fresca
Here’s a watermelon agua fresca recipe that’s a bit simpler in its ingredients and is sweetened with agave nectar or maple syrup (I recommend the maple, since it’s less processed). A pinch of sea salt helps bring out the flavors in this drink, while also making it even more hydrating.

11. Homemade Snow Cones
It’s pretty much a fact that everyone loves snow cones. Unfortunately, it’s also a fact that snow cones from carnivals and ice cream trucks are usually loaded with corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors. This basil and watermelon snow cones is completely real!

12. Watermelon Mint Slushies
These slushies are loaded with electrolytes from coconut water! That makes them extra good for your body, while the watermelon, strawberries, and mint leaves make them extra tasty. You can also play with the flavor by changing out the strawberries or mint for other herbs and fruits. I can imagine pineapple-watermelon-basil!

13. Almost Instant Ruby Red Granita
This yummy treat is made with just grapefruit, watermelon, ice, and orange juice. You could also use water or coconut water for different flavors and sweetness levels. This is a treat you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying, even if that means you want to eat it for breakfast!

14. Habanero Watermelon Gazpacho With Salsa
This gazpacho is made spicy with a habanero chili and super flavorful with garlic, red tomatoes, watermelon, and lime juice. You can top it off with this delicious mint and cucumber avocado salsa with plenty of fresh mint and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

15. Salted Watermelon Ice
This watermelon dessert is sweetened with maple syrup, flavored with lemon juice, and made extra good with sea salt. The sea salt adds a gourmet flair to this watermelon ice and brings out all of those delicious flavors. Salty, sweet, and completely natural.

16. Watermelon, Strawberry, and Tomatillo Salad
I really love fruits in savory dishes, and this salad is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. On the sweet side, we have watermelon, strawberries, and mint leaves, which are complemented by tomatillos, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and ground black pepper. Yum!

17. Watermelon Cake
This fun cake offers a sweet surprise to whoever cuts into it! Shape your watermelon like a cake and “frost” it with coconut whipped cream. You can sweetened the whipped cream with raw honey, or leave the whole cake sweetener-free and sprinkle with crushed almonds.

18. Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles
Because I live in the desert, popsicles are a major part of my life. Where else can you pack sweet and nutritious ingredients into a portable internal air conditioner? I love the idea of these popsicles made with watermelon, strawberries, and lime juice and zest. So easy!

19. Watermelon Cherry Cooler
I’m a big fruity drink person, and this (non-alcoholic) cooler can be enjoyed by the whole family with watermelon, cherries, basil, mint, lime juice, and cold water with ice. The herbs really up the refreshment factor of these drinks, and they’re naturally sweet!

20. Whole30 Watermelon Cucumber Salad
This is one of my very favorite things to make with an overload of watermelon. It even keeps for a few days in the fridge! All you need is watermelon cut into cubes, cubed seedless English cucumbers, lime, and fresh mint (or basil). Add a pinch of salt just before serving, if you’d like.

21. Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad
A lot of these watermelon recipes are for lighter fare and drinks, but if you’re looking for something savory and a bit more hearty, try this grilled salad. Grilled watermelon and shrimp are combined with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, sea salt, and more.

22. Cubed Watermelon Salad With Dill and Mint
Here’s another savory watermelon salad, and this one is made with jicama, cucumber, thinly sliced red onion for spice, olive oil, white balsamic or wine vinegar, fresh mint leaves and dill, and a dash of salt and pepper for good measure. This is perfect for a picnic!

23. Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad
This tomato salad is made with heirloom cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped seedless watermelon, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, and fresh dill. It’s another irresistibly tasty and family-friendly picnic dish that everyone will be begging you to make again.

24. Chilled Radish Soup
Looking at the picture, you might think this is another gazpacho recipe. But it’s not! This is rabano, a delicious radish soup made with watermelon, lime, almond butter, chives, vanilla extract, sea salt, and chili oil. The fabulous blend of flavors in this recipe is enough to make you want to try it!

25. Cherry Watermelon Granita
Granita is similar to sorbet, but it has an icy texture because it isn’t churned through an ice cream maker to make it smooth. Instead, for this recipe, you’ll freeze a puree of watermelon, cherries, fresh mint, and honey, and then scratch it with a fork until it’s like a snow cone texture. Yum!

26. Blueberry Watermelon Mint Smoothie
This smoothie has a lovely purple color with some healthy fats from coconut milk. Blueberries add vitamins and antioxidants to this refreshing drink, which is flavored with watermelon and fresh mint and sweetened with a touch of maple syrup if you need it.

27. Paleo Watermelon Berry Smoothie
This smoothie is full of fruity flavor and sweetness from watermelon, raspberries, and blueberries. It’s a simple and refreshing smoothie that’s easy and quick to make, and perfect for the whole family to enjoy. You could also add a handful of spinach of added nutrients!

28. Watermelon Gazpacho With Beet Noodles
The beet noodles add extra nutrients and iron to this dish while also giving it a crunchy texture that makes it more interesting to eat. You’ll also use red onion, cucumber, red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, lime juice, chopped herbs, tomato, and jalapeno for some added heat.

29. Flank Steak, Tomato, and Watermelon Salad
This easy dinner salad will get both watermelon and protein-rich flank steak onto your table, alone with red wine vinegar, rosemary, romaine lettuce, avocado, red onion, shallot, tomatoes, and more. Leave out the bleu cheese to keep this recipe dairy-free.

30. Red Cabbage Summer Coleslaw
Here’s another picnic dish for your family gathering. You’ll need shredded red cabbage, carrots, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried basil, garlic, celery, and watermelon to make this one happen, and trust me—everyone will be thanking you for it.

31. Watermelon Blueberry Mojito
This fun drink is made with ice, watermelon juice, white rum, mint, lime juice, blueberries, and sparkling water. It takes only a few minutes to mix up, and you can even make a non-alcoholic version for the kids by switching the rum out for juice or coconut water.

32. Watermelon Salad With Blackberries and Basil
This easy salad is made with watermelon, blackberries, fresh basil leaves, lime juice, and a bit of maple syrup or honey if you’d like to sweeten it up a bit (totally not necessary). I think the kids would really love this one! Mint would work in place of the basil, too.

33. Kiwi Watermelon Popsicles
These popsicles are so cute with their pretty pink color and lovely chunks of bright green kiwi. The kiwi adds both sweetness and vitamin c-rich tang to these popsicles, and they don’t even need any added sweetener because of the watermelon. These are really kid-friendly!

34. Watermelon Cooler
Here’s an alcohol-free watermelon cooler that’s a bit sparkly, a bit sweet, and a bit tart. You’ll need coconut sugar, fresh lemon juice, watermelon juice (there are instructions in the recipe on making pure watermelon juice), springs of mint, and club soda or other fizzy water.

35. Avocado Watermelon Bites
I love these little guys! They’re so cute and have such a great color combination, and best of all, they’re a watermelon bit appetizer that doesn’t involve goat cheese. Wahoo! You’ll just need watermelon, coconut aminos, red onion, cucumber, and avocado with a bit of fresh lime juice.

36. Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade
We love lemonade in our house, but it’s a rare treat because the combination of acid and sugar isn’t so great for your teeth (not to mention that we avoid sweetened drinks). Every once in awhile, though, I’ll whip up a delicious drink like this lemonade with coconut water and sea salt.

37. Sparkling Watermelon Cooler
This cooler just requires watermelon, lemon juice, seltzer water, and some kind of sweetener (I’d use maple syrup). It’s family friendly and comes together in just a few minutes, and it doesn’t require juicing your watermelon or anything fancy. Plain watermelon puree works!

38. Portable Popsicles
Remember those brightly colored (and artificial) freeze pops you used to enjoy as a kid, or maybe even give to your own kids? Let’s make a healthier version with popsicle tubes! There are so many flavor ideas here, but one is a delicious watermelon coconut blueberry.

39. Watermelon Margaritas
I love a good margarita, and this one with watermelon is totally perfect. A bit of silver tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, and watermelon puree will do the trick. So fire up your cocktail shaker and rimming salt, because this is your new favorite summer drink.

40. Watermelon Salad With Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
This easy salad is made with mixed greens of choice, watermelon, and bleu cheese if you eat dairy (otherwise, leave it out). The creamy dressing uses paleo-friendly mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Yummy!


Applications

Canary melon pairs well with citrus, ginger, honey and other more flavorful melons. Use Canary melon in fresh preparations such as cold soups and salads. The mellow sweetness and slight tart flavors are enhanced with herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro as well as hot chiles and nuts. You can also process the melon for granitas, sorbets and popsicles, though the addition of sugar may be required to enhance its flavor. To store, keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripe then refrigerate up to five days. Refrigerate cut melon in a covered container for up to three days.


Watermelon granita with herb sugar

For the sugar syrup:
caster sugar 4 tbsp
water 4 tbsp
watermelon 1.5kg

For the basil mint sugar:
caster sugar 50g
basil leaves 7g
mint leaves 7g

Make the sugar syrup by bringing the caster sugar and water to the boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer till the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. You can speed the process up by lowering the saucepan into a sink of cold water.

Remove the rind from the watermelon and discard. You will end up with about 1kg of flesh. Roughly chop the melon, then process to a thick slush in a blender or food processor.

Stir the sugar syrup into the crushed watermelon, then pour into a stainless steel or rigid plastic freezer box and freeze for an hour. Using a fork, gently bring the frozen edges of the granita, the crystals of frozen mixture that lie around the edges, into the middle, then return to the freezer. Do not let the granita freeze into one vast ice cube. Instead, encourage the crystallisation by regular, gentle mixing.

Continue gently stirring the frozen crystals into the scarlet liquid, every hour, until the granita is entirely, but lightly frozen into millions of tiny crystals. It should take about 4 hours.

To make the herb sugar, pour the caster sugar into the bowl of a food processor, then add the basil and mint leaves. Process the herbs and sugar for a few seconds till you have a fine, brilliant green sugar.

To serve, pile mounds of the granita in small bowls then scatter over a little of the mint and basil sugar.


Make Watermelon Salad with Mint & Feta a family project

The kids help you make this recipe for watermelon feta salad by cutting up the watermelon in small chunks by using child safe kitchen knives.

And if they snack while they cook? No biggie as we all know how healthy fruit is!

If you don’t want the kids to use any kind of knives, even child safe ones, a melon baller is another option when making a watermelon and feta salad with mint recipe a family project!

Don’t throw out those watermelon rinds. Keep them to make Best Watermelon Rind Pickles !


Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 rib or loin lamb chops
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 mint sprigs, stems included and cut in pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup raw walnut halves
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of mint, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place lamb chops, olive oil, torn mint, garlic and pepper in a large, sealable plastic bag. Toss to coat lamb chops and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove chops, wipe off excess marinade and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element. Have a broiler pan or baking sheet lined with greased aluminum foil ready. Place chops on pan.

Broil for 5 to 7 minutes on each side (medium-rare to medium) until nicely browned.

Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground (about the consistency of very coarse sand).

Transfer to a medium bowl, then add the mint, lemon zest, garlic, salt, black pepper to taste and the oil mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.


Fresh Watermelon Margarita

Watermelon margaritas are irresistible on hot summer days. Based on the classic margarita, this recipe pairs reposado tequila, triple sec, and lime juice with the sweet taste of fresh watermelon juice. Spice it up with a chili-salt rim and add a cool mint garnish if you like. It takes minimal effort and you'll have a refreshing watermelon cocktail to enjoy in just a few minutes.

For this watermelon margarita recipe, you don't have to dig out the blender (unless you'd like to), and there's no need to process it into juice first. Instead, all you need is a muddler and a cocktail shaker. Watermelon is naturally very juicy and the easiest fruit to juice. The cubes break down easily with just a few turns of the wrist, while straining removes the seeds and pulp.

When served over a lot of ice, this makes two mellow cocktails. If you prefer to serve it without ice, it's a tall drink for one person. Whether you want to add fruit or herbs or make it spicier, there are also many variations you can try as well.


This cocktail is an invigorating drink that will both dazzle and refresh the drinker.

In the summer we get hot, and when we get hot our natural tendency is to drink something refreshing. Experts may tell us that water is the best thing to drink, but we human beings get bored with the same old thing even if it is good for us. Drinking tea has come back into fashion and we are surrounded by a vast amount of information about the health benefits of tea. Summer is a brilliant time to make the best of your body’s need for healthy liquid while taking advantage of the profound positive health impact of drinking tea and fresh herbs. Teas made of dried herbs contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins and loads of other good stuff that can be turned into a cooling summer drink that is the perfect solution to a hot day. It is a healthy alternative to a sugary soda pop or high fructose juice drink!


The seasonal fruits and vegetables you should be enjoying all summer long

Summer produce is a cause for celebration! Learn how to make the most of these warm-weather ingredients while they’re ripe for the picking.

Canada might be famous for its chilly winters, but its inhabitants know just how glorious the summers can be. Produce stalls across the country, once sparse (and cabbage-focused), are suddenly resplendent with fresh produce. All that extra heat and sunshine concentrates the flavours in plants as they grow, resulting in the best, most flavourful produce of the year. Below, we share some of our favourite summer fruits and vegetables, with tips for buying, storing, and cooking them.

Berries

If there&rsquos one thing to be grateful for in the summer, it&rsquos fresh berries (a.k.a. nature&rsquos candy). We&rsquore lucky to grow a wide variety in Canada, including blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, salal berries and saskatoon berries.

What to look for: Look for berries that are intact (not crushed) the ripest ones should have an aroma if you give them a sniff. Store berries somewhere at room temperature, and rinse them just before consuming. Consume them within a day or two. You can also freeze them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then transfer them (once they&rsquore firm) to a resealable plastic bag to enjoy for months afterward.

Try them in a recipe: If you ever tire of eating them as-is, try using berries in an Eton mess or in miniature trifles or to adorn an elegant sponge cake. They also can have wonderful savoury applications, like this mixed green salad with strawberry salsa.

Stone fruit

Any fruit with a large stone (which we often call the "pit") inside of it is a stone fruit. Common types in Canada include peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries.

What to know: When shopping for stone fruit, it&rsquos helpful to give them a little nasal appraisal: ripe fruit will have a rich, heady scent. Avoid squeezing stone fruit to appraise its ripeness, as you might end up damaging the produce. Check fruit for any blemishes before buying, and store them at home in a single layer on the counter, stem-side-down.

Try them in a recipe: Each type of stone fruit is delicious on its own, but they can also be combined with one another for delicious effect, as in this summer orchard tart. Other sweet suggestions include this cheesecake tart, a simple snacking cake and these adorable mini galettes. For a savoury twist, you can&rsquot beat this chicken and peach cobb salad.

Tomatoes

Summer tomatoes include the more traditional roma and vine tomatoes you see year-round in store, as well as gorgeous, colourful heirloom varieties. They can come in a wide assortment of shapes, colours and sizes.

What to know: Choose tomatoes that feel heavy and firm the skin should be smooth but not overly taut or soft and wrinkled. Near the stem, tomatoes should have a strong aroma if they&rsquore ripe. Store tomatoes at room temperature and consume them within two days of purchasing.

Try them in a recipe: You can pair tomatoes with just about any fresh herb, a wide variety of cheeses, and most alliums. Enjoy them in a savoury crumble, a lemony summer pasta or make pico de gallo with them and use them to top grilled meats all summer long.

Boiled, grilled, or even fresh off the cob&mdashit doesn&rsquot get much better than summer corn. The most common varieties have either all yellow or yellow and white variegated kernels whichever you choose, the flavour won&rsquot vary greatly from one to another.

What to know: When buying corn, look for cobs that have light brown, slightly sticky tassels (but not dried out or black ones that happens when the corn is old). Corn husks should be a bright green and might even feel slightly damp to the touch. As soon as corn is picked, it starts converting its internal sugars into starch, so if you&rsquore looking for sweet corn, consume it the day that you bought it. Otherwise, store your corn in its husks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Try it in a recipe: If pure corn flavour is what you&rsquore after, you&rsquoll love this quick-pickled corn. It&rsquos also excellent as a salsa paired with grilled chicken, grilled to perfection and served with aioli and in this elegant savoury tart.

Melons

One of life&rsquos greatest pleasures is to enjoy a fat wedge of melon on a hot summer&rsquos day. There are a number of common melon varieties in Canada, the most common being watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew.

What to know: When buying melons, check for any visible bruising or soft spots. Melons should feel firm but not overly hard, and should ideally be heavy for their size. So long as you haven&rsquot cut into them, you can ripen melons for a few days on the counter at room temperature. Sliced melon should be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Try them in a recipe: Melons are terrific in a refreshing granita, as ice pops or in a nice, cold smoothie. They also work well in more savoury meals, such as in the relish for these beef brochettes, or as a fish replacement in this vegetarian poke bowl.

Zucchini (and summer squash)

Towards the end of summer, there&rsquos always a glut of zucchini and its squash cousins at the markets. Common varieties include green, yellow and eight ball zucchini, as well as pattypan and zephyr squash. Despite their differences in appearance, they all have a similar, mild flavour.

What to know: Massive zucchini, though impressive to behold, are often mealy and less flavourful, so choose them in the small-to-medium range. Look for unblemished, taught skin. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if you aren&rsquot using them immediately.

Try it in a recipe: You might not have guessed it, but zucchini actually pairs beautifully with chocolate in a sweet application, such as this double chocolate bundt cake. They&rsquore more common in savoury cooking, and are terrific when grilled, shaved thinly and used instead of pasta or baked into a one-pan brunch.

Oh. and don't forget the herbs!

Brimming with flavour, herbs are a terrific way to add punch and freshness to any meal. They're easy to grow yourself, and many colourful heirloom varieties are available in addition to what you can usually find year-round in stores. Terrific herbs include basil, mint, dill, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, rosemary, chives, thyme and sage.

What to look for: When buying herbs, look for ones that are perky (not wilted), and to store them for maximum freshness, wrap them in a paper towel and place your bundle in a plastic bag in the fridge. Hold off on washing herbs until just before you use them to add to prolong their shelf-life.

Try them in a recipe: Once you try this chimichurri sauce, you'll want to put it on everything. Herbs are also terrific for making pesto, vinaigrette and mint sauce. If you&rsquore unable to use all of your herbs right away, try transforming them into these flavourful ice cubes for future use.


Watch the video: Mint Granita Recipe - So light and refreshing! (November 2021).