We asked five top chefs to give leading roles to a cast of the season’s best mouthwatering ingredients. The result? Crowd-pleasing dishes that’ll earn you a standing ovation. From seasonal favorites like corn and peaches, to fava beans and cherries, these delectable plates will have you re-thinking (or at least adding to) your classic burger and hot dog menu at this weekend's barbeque. Click the photo to get inspired!
1. Spotlight on: Peaches
Recipe:Serves 4 CHICKEN4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thinSalt and pepper2 cloves garlic, crushed1 sprig thyme2 tbsp canola oilPANZANELLA2 ripe peaches, diced or sliced25 cherries, pitted and halvedy cup toasted chopped almonds2 scallions, sliced thinly on the biasu lb. Stilton cheese, crumbled Juice of 1 orangeJuice of 1 lemon2 tbsp chopped herbs(try parsley, dill, tarragon, chives)3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil2 cups hearty greens (arugula, dandelion, or chicory)Salt and pepper to tastePinch of sugary loaf brioche or white bread, crustremoved, diced into 1" cubes and toasted(for croutons)1 Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. 2 Heat grill pan with canola oil until smoking. Grill chicken in the pan over high heat for 3 minutes per side, until cooked through; remove from heat and let rest. 3 To assemble the salad, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, tossing in the croutons last.
2. Spotlight on: Fava Beans
Recipe: Serves 45 lb. fresh fava beans,
removed from the pod4 plums (slightly underripe),
thinly sliced2 cups Champagne vinegar½ cup honey½ tbsp salt½ cup olive oil 20 cilantro leaves 3 scallions, sliced¼ habañero pepper, seeded
and diced1 small bunch radishes,
thinly sliced2 cups mixed baby greensSalt and pepper to taste1Boil a pot of salted water. Add favas; blanch for 3 minutes. Drain into a colander; run under cold water until cool. 2 Peel the skin off beans. Put beans in fridge. 3 Place plums in a medium bowl. Combine vinegar, honey, and salt in a
saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and let cool. Pour the liquid over plums to create a brine; let sit for 2 hours. 4 Then make a vinaigrette: In a salad bowl, whisk together ¹/? cup of the plum-brine liquid, oil, cilantro, scallions, and habañero. 5 Add plum slices, radishes, greens, and favas to
the bowl, and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Spotlight on: Cherries
Recipe:Serves 4 CHERRIES½ vanilla bean, split and seededZest of 1 orange¾ cup granulated sugar¾ cup Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
(a sweet white dessert wine)¼ cup water 4 cups cherries, any dark red variety,
stems removed (try Bing or Brooks)CREAM1 vanilla bean, split and seeded½ cup mascarpone cheese1½ cups heavy cream3 tbsp granulated sugarThyme sprigs, for garnish1 Preheat oven to 300°f. Combine vanilla bean, orange zest, sugar, wine, and water in a large shallow ovenproof pot; bring to a simmer over medium heat. When sugar is dissolved, add cherries. 2 Place pot in the oven and roast until cherries have softened, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, make the cream: In a medium bowl, add the vanilla seeds to the mascarpone. 4 Add a little cream to the
cheese and stir to loosen it up. Add remaining cream and sugar to mascarpone; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. 5 Place a few warm cherries in bowls and top with cream. Garnish with thyme.
4. Spotlight on: Watermelon
Recipe:Serves 41 small watermelon,
sliced or diced1 cup torn herbs (try
basil, mint, cilantro)2 oz. fresh bean sprouts½ Thai bird chili, minced
(or ¾ tsp sriracha sauce)1 tbsp sugar1 clove garlic, minced1 tsp freshly grated gingerJuice of 2 limes2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oilKosher salt to taste½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped1 Put melon, herbs, sprouts, and chili in a bowl. 2 Make a dressing: In another bowl, dissolve sugar in 2 tbsp warm water. Whisk in garlic, ginger, lime juice, and oil. 3 Dress salad, season with salt, then toss. Plate; sprinkle with peanuts.
5. Spotlight on: Corn
Recipe:Yields 4 CakesCORN CAKES2 cups corn kernels, cut off the cob from about 3 ears (divided in half)2 tbsp butter, plus more for cooking½ cup buttermilk½ cup red onion, finely diced¼ cup basil chiffonade (long, thin strips, cut with a sharp knife), plus more for garnish¾ cup all-purpose flour½ cup cornmeal1 tsp baking powder½ tsp baking sodaPinch of salt and pepperTOPPING2 heirloom tomatoes, diced½ cup corn kernels 2 tbsp olive oilSalt and pepper4 eggs, poached1 In a blender, purée half the corn kernels,butter, and buttermilk until mostly smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in remaining corn kernels, onion, and basil. 2 In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. 3 Add wet ingredients to the dry; mix until just combined. 4 In a skillet, melt a knob of butter over medium heat and add 2 heaping tbsp of batter for each pancake. Cook about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. finish with a pat of butter,
and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 5 for the topping, combine tomato and
corn with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spoon mixture over the corn cakes. 6 Top each cake with a poached egg, salt, and pepper, and garnish with basil.