Side Dish: Berries, melons

Photo provided by U.S. Highbush Blueberry CouncilA spoonful of blueberries can enliven many summer snacks.
Photo provided by U.S. Highbush Blueberry CouncilA spoonful of blueberries can enliven many summer snacks.

Blueberries and cantaloupes are among my very favorite foods. That’s why I was at the Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge much earlier Saturday than usual. I wanted to be certain I got a half-dozen pints of area-grown blueberries to put in the freezer for use later and to select a choice cantaloupe for breakfast.

Don’t wash blueberries before refrigerating or freezing; wait until using to gently wash in cool running water and drain.

Store ripe melons in the refrigerator and keep covered; they easily absorb other food odors.

I also love peaches and am always looking for ways to serve them.

In a recent newsletter, the Red Stick Farmers Market suggested picking up some Louisiana peaches and blueberries to use as healthful afternoon snacks.

It also offered an easy idea for preparing the snack: Make a light dressing with a few tablespoons of honey and fresh lime juice to serve over the chopped peaches and blueberries. Add a few sprigs of chopped mint or basil.

What a refreshing and yummy idea. So imagine how pleased I was when Cynthia Nobles, who writes the Bites of History column, brought over a big bag of Ruston-grown peaches.

Now, I can try the easy snack suggested by the farmers’ market staff and still have enough peaches to make the award-winning Blueberry-Peach Pie recipe shared by Beth Reames, of the LSU AgCenter.

Blueberry-Peach Pie

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie; serves 8. Recipe is by Marie Deville, Evangeline Parish. The recipe was a state and Grand National 4-H winner, according to Beth Reames, of the LSU AgCenter.

Pastry for double-crust, 9-inch pie

3 cups sliced peaches (fresh, frozen or canned)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tbls. lemon juice

1 cup sugar

2 tbls. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbls. margarine

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine peaches, blueberries and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit and toss lightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan, mounding in center. Dot with margarine.

2. Roll out remaining pastry dough to an 11-inch circle. Carefully place pastry on top of filling. Trim top crust and fold under edges of bottom crust. Flute edges. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until fruit is tender and crust is golden brown. Partially cool on rack; serve warm — with ice milk, if desired.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 367 calories; 171/2 grams fat; 4.3 grams saturated fat; 9 milligrams cholesterol; 275 milligrams sodium; and 49 grams carbohydrate.