Today, we officially welcome the first day of summer (hooray!). According to the trusted Old Farmer’s Almanac, summer begins at 7:09 p.m. (EST) today. To celebrate the summer solstice, Jill has crafted a stunning summer appetizer plate where each morsel is drizzled or dipped or accented by some local honey we love. Honey. Summer. Chic bites. Sigh. -Maggie
Some of us are afraid of bees, rightfully so, since just one sting can be pretty serious.
But I’ve come to really appreciate honey bees and all the work that they do and here’s why:
A single worker bee visits 50-100 flowers per trip and produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire lifetime. It takes about two million flowers to make just one pound of honey. So when I taste this beautiful summer nectar, I am so very grateful.
Drizzled on a piece of fresh bread smeared with homemade cheese - it’s so chic and simple and fresh.
I had the pleasure of sampling honey from both a spring and fall harvest thanks to a package sent my way from Maggie. Sparky’s from Maine was delightfully light, with great floral notes of spring flowers. Greenpoint Local from Brooklyn was rich, flavorful, and “chewy.” I found both had a depth of flavor you just don’t taste in over-processed supermarket honey.
To really let the honey shine, forage in your fridge and garden and then assemble a tasting board lined with fresh, chic summer appetizers. Experiment with sweet as well as salty ingredients that complement or contrast the sweetness of the honey.
Some blue cheese crumbled with pear slices, and dark honey. Divine.
Ricotta, prosciutto, basil and chives, and more honey. Yum!
I know a couple of boys who would love to lick the spoon.
How about goats cheese, pears and arugula wrapped with prosciutto?
The first cherry tomatoes are here! We’ve had a steady supply in the garden since May.
Enjoy with baby boconcinni and basil, or just naked off the vine dipped in honey. Tastes like a really ripe, juicy persimmon. (Excuse me while I lick my fingers)
Snow peas and radishes are ready too. I threw in some salty capers for fun.
Thank you bees, for pollinating my garden and providing us with your sweet gift. In return, I promise to plant more flowers and leave you water to drink.
How will you enjoy honey this summer? Tell us in the comments!
Summer Appetizer Plate with Honey
- Salty meats
- Mild and strong cheese
- Sprigs of fresh basil, and herbs from the garden
- Fresh vegetables and fruit in season
- Assortment of bread and crackers
- Wash, trim, slice and arrange on a tray or platter.
- Make a few up on the platter, drizzle with honey.
- Experiment and create your own combination.
All photos styled and taken by Jill Chen.
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