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) / @loveandlemonsHeirloom 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

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 / @loveandlemonsSpicy Peach Jam / @loveandlemonsSpicy 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 / @loveandlemonsSpicy 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 / @loveandlemonsTart 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

fig & ricotta flatbread pizza

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

It’s possible that I’ve been going a little salad crazy around here lately. Jack has brought it to my attention that we may have one too many salad recipes on the site. So this week, I’m changing things up: first pasta and now pizza. Because sometimes we all need to live a little and just say yes to a few carbs.

So last Sunday night when I announced “pizza night!,” I got a thumbs up from Jack. When I said “it’s gluten free pizza night!!!!” he gave me a look.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

I knew Pamela’s pizza crust would be good (like I mentioned before, all of my gluten friends swear by their flours), but even Jack was surprised how gluten-full it tasted. The dough is very sticky to work with (you won’t be tossing it into the air). We carefully formed it, partially baked it and then grilled it. The edge was crispy, the middle was chewy… you’d never know this crust was made with brown rice and other whole grains.

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Figs just showed up at our farmers market so I did a flatbread-style pizza with creamy ricotta, juicy figs, pesto, arugula, pistachios and balsamic. (Basically a really good salad on a pizza!). I’m so excited about this salty-sweet ingredient combo that I figured out how to make an animated gif to demo it for you:

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

Technically, this recipe should serve 3, maybe 4. That night, it served two. We had a hard time not devouring every slice before we were done with the photos…

Gluten Free Fig & Ricotta Flatbread Pizza / @loveandlemons

lemony summer squash orecchiette

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

You still have tons of zucchini right? Ok, I thought so, just checking. If you don’t (hi, Australia!), you can use this recipe as a template for whatever vegetable you do have (ie. broccoli would be delicious here). It’s a straight-forward simple pasta recipe – perfect for highlighting a special seasonal ingredient.

My zucchini and yellow squash were on the small side, so I sliced them into thin little coins and paired them with orecchiette pasta. I like how the shape of the squash and the shape of the pasta are somewhat similar. It makes for a nice “easy-to-get-it-all-on-your-fork” sort of texture.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemonsLemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

Rosemary isn’t super summery, but it’s what I had (my basil didn’t last through the heat). If you’ve been more successful with your herb-growing, feel free to switch it up. If you use leafy herbs, just be sure to add them closer to the end so they stay fresh and bright.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons

Just a few minutes in the pan and you’re done. I folded in some creamy feta near the end – for a vegan option, add pesto instead.

Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette / @loveandlemons