With the summer months upon us and the heat bearing down, I must admit that I am not as enthused about working in the kitchen as I am in the cooler months of the year. During these warmer and sometimes downright HOT months, I generally look for good, healthful, unprocessed dishes I can prepare quickly with minimal effort that won’t slow me down physically and heat up the house. I’m also into food experimentation and this proclivity for the unusual makes the Aronia Berry the perfect ingredient, as it mixes well with so many different flavors and is perfect for prepping quick, healthful meals.
During a recent dinner gathering, based upon my various experiments, I prepared a nice, creamy Aronia Berry Hummus with Superberries Frozen Aronia Berries. The hummus added a bit of an interesting flair to our dinner table as both an appetizer and a conversation starter. The light, purple hummus was served with a side of raw vegetables and kale chips seasoned with sea salt. The initial reaction from my “test” audience was a resounding thumbs up as the flavor of the tahini, Aronia Berry and chickpeas melded together famously with the slight tang and sea salt of the crisp kale and the various vegetables.
My next course was a simple Aronia Kale Salad served with a delightful and lighter Aronia Berry dressing I concocted in many experiments in the kitchen. The Aronia Salad was well received and the flavors were tart with that hint of sweetness tickling the tongue, yet not overwhelming, and the lightness of the Aronia dressing added a different dimension of taste that was off that clichéd chart.
With the main course of homemade grilled veggie, turkey and salmon burgers surrounded with a side of sweet potato and eggplant fries, I served a delectable Aronia Strawberry Relish that complimented the grilled fare perfectly. The heat and the sweet of the Aronia Relish pleased the crowd and was probably the most popular dish on the table. The astringent flavors of the Aronia berries and the tart vinegar brought out the sweetness of the strawberries and the onions, while the heat of the jalapenos mixed very well with the sweet flavor of the honey to bring about an explosion of festive flavor.
As a night cap we had the always popular Aronia Coconut Ice Cream and a refreshing cooler of Aronia Berry Lemonade. The Aronia Lemonade is best if prepared with Meyer Lemons, however natural lemonade from any fresh market will do nicely as well. The Aronia Lemonade is an easy drink to prepare and perfect for any warm summer night on the deck gazing up at the stars and having a lighthearted conversation with good friends.
Start to finish, the entire meal was a fairly easy, quick production and spared me quite a bit of time in the hot kitchen. The meal was heavy on nutrition coupled with natural antioxidants and went over very well with each of my guests. The greatest compliment came at the end of the evening when I was asked for the recipes. Naturally, I always enjoy sharing in the vein of spreading health and wellness through the “power of purple”, and I’ve also included the recipes elsewhere on this website for you to enjoy as well. Check ‘em out and let us know what you think.
In the meantime, bon appétit.