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Recipes for Early Summer's Bounty

Avocados, cherries and pineapples are in season


Pineapple hits its peak season between March and July, and its irresistible sweetness is matched with plenty of vitamin C and manganese. Don't let its prickly exterior scare you off from buying a whole, fresh fruit: select a large one with a bright color and dark green leaves. With a sharp knife, remove the base and the leaves, then strip the skin from top to bottom all around the fruit. After peeling, cut the pineapple into quarters and remove the core.

Yellowfin Tuna Kabobs by Robert St. John:

The sweetness of fresh pineapple, orange juice and honey offsets savory smoked tuna steaks, onions and peppers for a luxury on the grill.

Pukka Pineapple With Bashed-Up Mint Sugar by Jamie Oliver:

With just fresh mint and a little sugar to enhance pineapple's natural attributes, the easy and fun prep for this low-cal and fat-free dessert can be executed at the dinner table!

Summer Squash

Summer squash is the name for a family of squashes that are in season in early summer, including yellow squash and zucchini. Harvested before their rinds are fully matured, these squashes cannot be stored for as long as their wintertime cousins, such as butternut and acorn squash, but summer squash cooks much more quickly because of its high water content. Both yellow squash and zucchini make a versatile addition to raw salads or cooked dishes, and are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A and C.

Individual Tians of Summer Vegetables by Debra Ponzek:

These pretty and low-cal vegetable side dishes make an impressive presentation for an outdoor dinner party, but can be made in under an hour and up to two days ahead.

Wheat Berry Salad With Peppers and Zucchini by Joan Nathan:

Wheat berries, also known as spring wheat, are unprocessed wheat kernels chock-full of vitamins and minerals. This easy make-ahead dish bathes summer produce like zucchini, basil, and raw peppers in garlic vinaigrette, while a dash of goat or feta cheese rounds out the flavor.

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