4 Summer Recipes Perfect for Dinner Al Fresco

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Carpe diem! This is the day to seize and enjoy all of that wonderful sun-ripened, flavor-bursting, gorgeous North Carolina produce. Juicy peaches, taut-skinned tomatoes (the ones that are so fragrant you could find them while blindfolded), bushels of corn and big purple aubergines (also known as eggplants) are all rolling in.

These seasonal offerings are sublime just as they are. Still, it is fun to mix things up a bit and use fresh produce in new ways.

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Roasted Eggplant Dip

Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto

A Lebanese family friend introduced us to eggplant dip (baba ganoush) long ago. I ate it for years before I even knew it was eggplant. I just knew that I liked it. This dip, however, has some changes in seasoning from traditional baba ganoush. So often, I automatically add cumin to anything Middle Eastern. This time, I tasted the Roasted Eggplant Dip before adding cumin and vetoed it. The eggplant flavor is quiet, and the cumin can mask it easily. This offers a new way to season this lovely vegetable with the lovely name.

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