(Maple syrup is an all-season treat, but summer lends itself to some of our favorite combinations. Read on for more!)
Summer is in full swing here in Western Maine. We had our first big heat of the season last week--days of hot, muggy weather in the upper 80's and into the 90's. It was the kind of weather where all you can do is dream of being someplace with lots of water to play in. The garden loved it, but it was a bit sapping to the people around here. Even heat waves have their silver linings.... It may have been hot, but is was also the perfect weather for Maple Iced Coffee. Just when the hot weather starts getting the best of you, you fill a tall glass with ice, add your coffee, cream, and a drizzle of maple syrup to taste, and the world suddenly starts looking like a better place. That maple iced coffee sure hits the spot when the weather turns tropical.
If you live in Maine, June is the month for stawberries, and July is the month for....BLUEBERRIES!
If you haven't had blueberries sprinkled over yogurt with generous drizzles of maple syrup over all, you know not what you have been missing. Add slivered almonds as well, and you have a great way to start your day. (Stonyfield whole milk plain yogurt is our very favorite. It's organic and rich, and you can adjust the sweetness with the maple syrup.) Yogurt with maple syrup is a treat we enjoy all year, but those summer blueberries take it to a whole new level.
Everyone knows that maple syrup and blueberry pancakes are heavenly. For an extra special treat, spread a layer of yogurt sprinkled with blueberries between two pancakes and serve with liberal amounts of maple syrup. You can't imagine how good this is. (I always mean to take a picture when we have this...but we're in such a hurry to eat it that it never happens...)
And lastly, summer is also salad season. We have oodles of lettuce, tomatoes, and cukes right from the garden, and it's a challenge at times to keep up with it all. This Maple Sesame salad dressing is super yummy. I shake it all together in a salad dressing shaker that also serves as a storage container for the unused dressing, but you can blend it in a blender or food processor as well, or even give it a good shake in a Mason jar. If it separates in the frige, just give it another shake before using. This dressing is delicious--mildly sweet and full of flavor. The toasted sesame seeds are optional. I'm usually in too much of a hurry to bother with them, but they do add a bit to the depth.
Maple Sesame Dressing
(makes 1-1/3 cups or so of dressing)
8 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Blend all ingredients together in shaker, Mason jar, blender, or food processor. Stores in refrigerator for quite a long time! If it separates, just give it a good shake to blend.
What are your favorite summer ways to enjoy maple syrup? We'd love to hear!