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Grillin' and Chillin'

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Grilled California Nectarine and Butter Lettuce Salad
Red Plum, White Nectarine and Blue Cheese Pizza
Shrimp and Peach Kabobs

(Family Features) - Summertime is here, and what better way to enjoy all the fruits of summer than by spending time outdoors with friends and family? Throughout the season, longer days and warmer temperatures make grilling a favorite activity. Cooking on the grill is hot, hot, hot - and it's a great time for hot new ideas for the grill that go beyond the usual hamburgers and hot dogs.

Grilled fruit stars in these sizzling, fresh-off-the-grill recipes, and its sweet flavors are perfectly complemented by chilled white wine. Summer fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines are a natural for the grill, where a quick cooking brings out juiciness and intensifies sweetness. A crisp, cold white pairs beautifully with warm grilled fruits and creates a refreshing, delicious summer dining combination.

Try out this pairing with these recipes, which match fresh California peaches, plums and nectarines with the fruit-forward and food-friendly style of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling selections from Mirassou Winery(r). You'll find the perfect summer duo that's both grilled and chilled.

For more recipes and wine suggestions, visit www.eatcaliforniafruit.com and www.mirassou.com.

Grilled California Nectarine and Butter Lettuce Salad

Ingredients
Spicy nectarine dressing
  • 1 California nectarine, peeled and pitted
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salad
  • 2 firm, but ripe, California nectarines, pitted
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened slightly
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups washed and torn butter lettuce, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 6 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Preparation
    1. For dressing, combine all ingredients in blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
    2. Cut each nectarine into 8 slices. Place on well-oiled grill over medium-high heat and cook a few minutes on each side to lightly brown.
    3. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on grill and cook about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through; cool.
    4. Place lettuce in large salad bowl. Cut chicken into bite-size strips and add to bowl with pistachios, bacon, green onions and dressing; toss well. Add grilled nectarines; toss lightly.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
about 15 minutes

Chill Time
1 hour

Serves
Makes 6 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: For a spicier flavor, sprinkle chicken lightly with cayenne pepper before grilling.

Pair with chilled Mirassou California Sauvignon Blanc

Red Plum, White Nectarine and Blue Cheese Pizza

Ingredients
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 white California nectarine, pitted
  • 1 red California plum, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Snipped fresh chives

Preparation
    1. Divide pizza dough into 4 equal pieces.
    2. Roll each out on lightly floured board to make 6-inch circles.
    3. Place dough circles on a baking sheet and brush both sides with oil. Grill over medium heat a few minutes on each side until dough is cooked through with light grill marks. Remove and cool.
    4. Cut each piece of fruit into 8 slices. Cook on well-oiled grill a few minutes on each side to lightly brown. Remove from grill and arrange fruit on pizza crusts.
    5. Stir together balsamic vinegar and honey; drizzle over fruit. Sprinkle with blue cheese and walnuts; place pizzas back on grill, cover with lid and cook to melt cheese. Sprinkle with chives.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
7 to 9 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 entrée servings or 8 to 10 appetizer servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pair with chilled Mirassou Monterey County Riesling

Shrimp and Peach Kabobs

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (combination like basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme)
  • 3 California peaches, pitted
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon, halved and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
    1. Heat oil in small skillet until very hot.
    2. Add garlic and cook briefly until aromatic; do not allow garlic to brown.
    3. Remove from heat immediately and stir in herbs; set aside.
    4. Cut peaches into 1-inch chunks and thread onto skewers alternately with shrimp and lemon slices.
    5. Brush lightly with garlic-herb oil. Grill over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes per side or until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove from grill and drizzle with remaining oil.

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
about 15 minutes total

Serves
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pair with chilled Mirassou Monterey County Chardonnay

SOURCE: California Tree Fruit Agreement
Mirassou Winery


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