Summer is ripe with possibility

When most people think of berries, they think of desserts and smoothies, but they’re great in savory dishes too! Give these a try and see for yourself.

Chipotle Strawberry Chicken Grilled Cheese

The unique mix of sweet-fiery berry sauce, meaty chicken, oozy brie and peppery arugula makes this a grilled cheese worthy of grown-up tastes.

2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil

1 shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) chopped strawberries

1 Tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) minced chipotle chili canned in adobo sauce

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped rosemary

2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter

8 slices crusty bread

8 oz (225 g) sliced cooked chicken

4 oz (112 g) sliced brie cheese

2 cups (500 mL) arugula

In medium saucepan over medium, heat oil. Add shallot and garlic; heat for 1 minute. Add strawberries, red wine vinegar, chipotle chili and salt to pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in rosemary and remove from heat.

In skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Top a slice of bread with chicken, cheese, strawberry sauce, arugula and a second slice of bread. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Heat until bread is crispy and golden on both sides and cheese has melted, about 3 minutes per side. Prepare sandwiches in batches if necessary.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 419 calories; 31 g protein; 20 g total fat (10 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 632 mg sodium

Raspberry Gazpacho

This riff on the Spanish soup includes raspberries for a touch of sweetness, while the chunky topping adds contrasting texture.

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 cups (500 mL) raspberries, divided

2 whole roasted red peppers

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and chopped, divided

1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh basil

2 green onions, white parts only, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, cubed

1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped fresh mint

In blender, place 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) raspberries, roasted red peppers, 1/2 chopped English cucumber, basil, onions, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Blend until just slightly chunky. With machine running on low speed, slowly drizzle in olive oil through the top feed tube. Place soup in container and chill for at least 2 hours.

In bowl, stir together remaining raspberries, remaining cucumber, yellow bell pepper, avocado and mint.

To serve, place soup in bowls and top with chopped vegetable mixture and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 223 calories; 4 g protein; 15 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 22 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 10 g fiber); 404 mg sodium

Blueberry Cornbreads

Blueberries add an unexpected jolt of fresh berry flavor to cornbread, making each bite that much more satisfying.

1 cup (250 mL) coarse ground cornmeal

3/4 cup (180 mL) whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

2 large eggs

1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk

1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil

1 cup (250 mL) blueberries

3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, thyme, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Remove 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cornmeal mixture; set aside.

In separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and whisk in buttermilk and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently. Toss blueberries and corn kernels with reserved cornmeal mixture and fold into batter.

Divide batter among 12 standard-sized greased or paper-lined muffin cups and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out nearly clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before unmoulding.

Serves 12.

Each serving contains: 148 calories; 4 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 20 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 2 g fiber); 132 mg sodium