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Savoring the Flavors of the Summer Harvest

Photo Credit: Prairie Wind Family Farm



"Summer is a time of savoring intense flavors—the sweet, tangy flavors of stone fruit, the subtly sweet, rich flavors of tomatoes and peppers—enjoying the beauty of the harvest and keeping meal preparations simple. Here are a few recipes where the fruit flavors and vegetable colors shine,” says Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, in Grayslake.



Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Yields: 1 Pizza, 4 servings

1 refrigerated pizza dough

4 Tbsp garlic-flavored olive oil or regular olive oil

2 tomatoes, quartered

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into ½ -inch-thick pieces (about 1¾  cups)

4 scallions, thinly sliced

8 oz grated cheese (use any combination of mozzarella, fontina, parmesan)

3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425° F.

Unroll pizza dough and place on heavy large baking sheet.

Press or stretch to 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil.

Toss tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, and onion with remaining 3 tablespoons oil in large bowl.

Arrange vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet.

Place pizza crust on top rack in oven and vegetables on bottom rack.

Bake until pizza crust is golden brown and vegetables are softened and brown in spots, about 13 minutes.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle crust with cheese and top with vegetables.

Top with basil and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve.


Stone Fruits with Almonds, Chèvre, Ricotta and Honey

Yields: 4-6 servings

1/2 Cup blanched whole almonds

2 Tbsp almond oil or extra-virgin olive oil

4 oz fresh goat cheese (chevre), room temperature

4 oz fresh ricotta cheese

5-6 apricots and two handfuls of sweet cherries (pitted)

3 Tbsp wildflower or orange-blossom honey

Heat almonds and oil in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until almonds are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to a plate to cool; discard oil.

Stir together cheeses, then mound on a platter, making a small well in the center with the back of a spoon.

Surround with fruits and toasted almonds. Drizzle honey into center of cheese.


Recipes courtesy of Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, which grows a wide variety of certified organic vegetables and pasture-raised hens for eggs, and provides fresh fruit to CSA members, delivered to north and western suburban locations, and area farmers’ markets. For more information, a schedule of farm events and to sign up for this year’s harvest, visit