Need a Break From Tomatoes? Use Summer Fruit Instead

Last month, my colleague Kerri wrote this cool piece for Heated about using summer fruit (berries, cherries, stone fruit) in dishes where you would typically use tomatoes. In Washington State, where she lives, these fruits come into season well before tomatoes. So she's been leaning into all sorts of savory fruit dishes, like pasta with blackberry marinara (sounds insane, looks incredible), cherries macerated with black pepper and balsamic (the juices make an amazing salad dressing), and even a quick braise of fresh apricots, cabbage and dill. It's not as if using fruit in savory recipes is anything new, but Kerri's piece got my mind racing with all sorts of ideas, and I thought it might do the same for you. Check it out below.

Two recipes (see below) that I immediately thought of after reading the piece were this incredibly simple curry made with peaches, mango, tomatoes, and coconut milk, and a chicken salad with plenty of sliced fresh plums, balsamic, and toasted almonds. The curry is bright with fresh ginger and is a perfect vehicle for using fruit that's either over- or underripe (if you have a perfectly ripe peach in your house, you should probably just devour it with your hands). The chicken salad is endlessly variable (you can use figs, peaches, apricots, berries, and, of course, apples and pears come fall), and something you'll want stashed in a bowl in your fridge for the rest of the summer. Both dishes are fast, easy, and perfect for low-lift weeknight cooking, which is especially welcome in the middle of August.

Of course, I can't write about stone fruit and berries without at least mentioning their peak, late-summer destination: jam. Check out my go-to recipe here. They'll also instantly transform a bowl of plain yogurt or cereal, and make for irresistible smoothies. You know all that, but it bears repeating, because, honestly, when it's hot and you maybe don't feel like cooking, a cold glass or bowl of perfect summer fruit is as good a meal as any. See you Friday.

—Mark


BLACKBERRY MARINARA


PEACH AND MANGO CURRY


PLUM CHICKEN SALAD