heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts

Heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts (vegan) / @loveandlemons

You may have noticed that I love making non-dairy sauces & spreads of out cashews, walnuts, and almonds (to name just a few). Every time I post a nutty sauce, I get a comment or two from readers who are allergic to dairy and nuts. (And I totally feel for you). Hopefully, you are not also allergic to seeds because my current obsession is this spread made from sunflower seeds.

Heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts (vegan) / @loveandlemons Heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts (vegan) / @loveandlemons

Sunflower seeds blend up to become a similar texture to ricotta, although the flavor of this spread is a bit more rich & tangy. I’ve posted similar recipes in the past - this time I’ve altered it to use easier-to-find ingredients. I’m hoping you love it as much as I do.

I made this last weekend and slathered it on grilled baguette along with some beautiful brandywine heirloom tomato slices. It would also work well as a dairy/nut replacement on this fig pizza, on this peach salad, on these avocado tartines, and also dolloped onto these baked sweet potatoes. (If you can’t tell by now, I make this all the time).

Heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts (vegan) / @loveandlemons

Of course, summer snacks are best enjoyed on pretty plates! These Cool Montecito Salad Plates from Q Squared are a fun & festive way to serve brightly colored appetizers. Love and Lemons readers will receive 20% off purchases. (enter code: LOVEANDLEMONS)

Heirloom tomato sun-cheese toasts (vegan) / @loveandlemons

eggplant recipes

Eggplant Recipes / @loveandlemons Eggplant Recipes / @loveandlemons

I’ve been cooking eggplant like crazy lately, but you know what? It’s not the easiest vegetable to photograph. So today I’m rounding up some old favorites as well as some recipes from around the web that are on my to-make list before summer is over. Do you have a favorite way to cook eggplant/aubergine?

Pictured above:

Eggplant & Summer Squash Tian

Nasu Dengaku (Miso-Broiled Eggplant) (*my favorite way to cook eggplant!)

More eggplant recipes:

Ginger Miso Eggplant Noodles

Easy Peanut Noodles

Alice Water’s Ratatouille (on Food52) 

Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa and Cherry Tomatoes (A Couple Cooks)

Quinoa Crusted Eggplant Parmigiana (Kitchen Confidante)

Chickpea stuffed eggplant with couscous and tahini sauce (Dishing up the Dirt)

Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers (Saveur)

Grilled Eggplant Rolls with Cream Cheese and Herbed Millet (Naturally Ella)

One pot vegan pasta (Minimalist Baker)

Zucchini, Eggplant, Tomato Gratin (Simply Recipes)

Ricotta-Stuffed Grilled Eggplant (Food52)

Smoky Eggplant Dip (Smitten Kitchen)

grace’s spicy peach jam

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with my friend Grace and she brought me the most delicious homemade blackberry jam. Since making jam isn’t really my jam, I asked her if she would come over and share a recipe for the blog. Peaches were in peak season, so we decided on spicy peach jam. And last weekend, we jammed. Well, technically, she jammed. I watched. Jack took pictures.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

(Canning aside), I was surprised how easy this was. The recipe looks long but, really, the most time consuming part is macerating the peaches overnight. The hands-on steps went pretty quickly.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

I just love the sweet & spice combination. I’ve been eating this jam on toast all week – it’s especially delicious with a slather of ricotta or almond butter. I’m also thinking it would be a fancy, unexpected addition to tacos similar to these.

Spicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemons

tart cherry frozen yogurt

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

I’m not sure where to start with this one. We’ve made a lot of ice creams before, so I don’t know why it’s taken us this long to think of making frozen yogurt with actual yogurt.

Guess what? It tastes nothing like that fake froyo you get from those places with the big machines and food-coloring-colored toppings. This is made with greek yogurt, a bit of coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla. It’s rich, creamy, and tangy (a little like cheesecake), with a bright pop of flavor from the tart cherries that are marbled throughout. We’re kind of obsessed.

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Unless you live in Traverse City Michigan, you might not be familiar with Montmorency tart cherries (they’re also sometimes called sour cherries). They’re less sweet than regular cherries (hence the name), and have a bright tangy flavor. They have a short growing season and require a very specific climate which is why they’re usually sold either frozen, dried, or in juice form.

In addition to being just plain tasty, they have some major superfood qualities. They’re a natural anti-inflammatory as well as a source of melatonin. They’ve been known to reduce muscle soreness and insomnia which, ironically, are two huge issues for me so I’m excited to see if these make a difference. I love a good natural remedy. Especially if it comes by way of frozen dessert!

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

Healthy factors aside, make some yummy froyo this weekend! If you can’t find tart (or sour) cherries in your grocers’ freezer section, you can make a request for your store to start carrying them (I do this all the time). Or click here for a list of growers with online ordering options. Here in Austin, I found them at Wheatsville Coop.

Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt / @loveandlemons

watermelon st. germain cocktails

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons

In case I haven’t mentioned it before – it’s pretty hot here. I’ve been eating watermelon like crazy because, well, I think it just might be the most refreshing fruit on the planet.

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons

I had been thinking of making watermelon margaritas until I had the most refreshing elderflower & vodka watermelon cocktail made by the Tipsy Texan a few weeks ago at the opening of Métier Cook’s Supply (a really cute kitchen supply store, btw – if you’re in Austin, go check it out).

This is definitely a simplified version but I get impatient to make cocktails that have more than just a few easy ingredients. The hardest part here is de-seeding your watermelon and blending it into juice. (The second time I made these, I got lazy and just bought some cold-pressed watermelon juice).

This recipe doesn’t have exact measurements because I find some watermelons to be sweeter than others. Play around and make these as sweet or as tart as you like.

Cheers!

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons