lemonadeToday’s Recipe Roundup highlights some of the dishes Chef Johnna has created using fruit.  Coincidentally, most are summer fruits, freely available in July, August, and September. 

The heart of all those refreshing summer drinks you’re enjoying right now is probably a simple syrup.  Used in lemonades and aqua frescas, it’s also used by bartenders in drinks like mojitos. The base is water and sugar, but they are usually infused with fruit, herbs, or things like ginger or lavender.

Lemonade is a common summer drink that utilizes simple syrup.  It’s easy to make and easy to adapt. Some popular variations include lavender, strawberry, and ginger lemonade. Start with this basic recipe.

A popular drink in the Southwest is the aqua fresca which translates to “fresh water.” You can get agua frescas that utilize strawberries, jamaica (hibiscus flower), or tamarand. This one uses watermelon — and since July is National Watermelon Month, you might want to give it a try.

Watermelon gazpachoWhile you’re taking advantage of those summer deals on watermelon, you may want to try this next recipe.  Gazpacho is a chilled, raw soup, originally made with tomatoes. Chefs have developed variations that use avocados, cucumber, or grapes.  To shake things up, consider this Watermelon Gazpacho recipe — just be careful how much habanero you use.

The peach is one more summer fruit that can be utilized in a variety of ways. Pies, jams, ice cream, and cobbler are common this time of year. Or you could try out this peach compote, it’s spiced with ginger to give it a little kick and goes great on everything from pancakes to ice cream or just served on its own with a dusting of cinnamon or whipped topping.