Who doesn’t love a gorgeous, bright bowl of lush, richly colored summer fruit—blueberries and strawberries and blackberries still hot from the fields and bursting with sweetness?

No fairy can resist these jewel-like orbs, which are as healthful as they are enchanting. And they’re not only delicious swimming in bowls of cream or sprinkled over cakes and pies or even plucked straight from the garden. Blogger Sara Ghedina, a.k.a. One Girl in the
Kitchen, shows us how to use them in savory dishes, too, for that perfect balance between salty and sweet.

Recipes and photos by Sara Ghedina (a.k.a. One Girl in the Kitchen)
Cover Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash
Article From 2016 Summer Issue #35
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A joyful plate almost too pretty to eat!

A sprinkle of sugar sweetens the blackberries, which highlights the rich, salty creaminess of the cheese. A main dish perfect for backyard gatherings on star-spangled summer nights.

Focaccia with Blackberries, Thyme, and Goat Cheese
(for two 8-by-12 baking pans)

For the dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup 2 tbsp. lukewarm water
1¼ tsp. active dry yeast
¼ tsp. sugar
1⅛ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs

For the toping
2 cups blackberries
½ cup goat cheese
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
1 tbsp. sugar
4 or 5 fresh thyme sprigs

For the dough, dissolve yeast in water with ¼ teaspoon sugar.

Mix flour with thyme leaves, place it in a large bowl, and make a well in the middle.

Add salt and olive oil, then slowly pour in the yeast-and-water mixture and start kneading until all liquid is incorporated. Add more water if necessary.

Roll the dough on the working table and knead for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl greased with some oil, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise for about 2 hours.

Divide the dough in half, form two loaves, and place each one on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Flatten it using a short rolling pin and the palm of your hand until it covers the bottom of the pan almost completely.

Let rise for another 30 minutes. When ready, wash blackberries, sprinkle with the sugar, and distribute them evenly on the focaccia.

Push the tip of your fingers into the dough, forming deep imprints until you can almost touch the pan.

Drizzle with olive oil mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, fresh thyme, and salt.

Let focaccia rise again for about 1½ hours, sprinkle generously with goat cheese, then bake at 390° for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.



The raisins here enhance the sweetness of the blueberries—which contrast beautifully with the tartness and saltiness of the preserved lemon. Use capers instead of raisins for a more savory version of this fresh, mint-scented appetizer.

Israeli Couscous With Blueberries, Mint, and Preserved Lemon
(serves 4 as appetizer)

1 cup Israeli couscous
½ red onion
½ cucumber
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup raisins
1 preserved lemon (rind only)
juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 or 6 fresh mint sprigs
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup almonds, sliced and toasted

Bring 1¼ cup of water to boil, add couscous and cook on low for 8 to 10 minutes until water is absorbed.

Fluff with a fork, add salt, and set aside. Meanwhile slice the onion very thinly and let it sit in the juice of one lemon for about 15 minutes.

Wash the blueberries, peel the cucumber and cut it in small cubes. Chop the preserved lemon’s rind and drain the onion.

In a large bowl, place the cooked couscous and add all the remaining ingredients. Dress the salad with the olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped mint leaves, and juice of the remaining lemon.

Mix gently, top with the toasted almonds, and serve.



This radiant dish pairs the sweet strawberry with the acidity of those lush summer tomatoes—all absorbed by the bread to create an extra-flavorful treat. Use honey instead of agave for a more decadent variation.

Strawberry Tomato Panzanella
(serves 4 as appetizer)

3 thick slices of day-old country bread
2¼ cups strawberry
2¼ cups cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp. agave nectar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 small shallot
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus more
for brushing
1 cup arugula
½ cup basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Brush bread, sliced, with some olive oil, place on a hot grilling pan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side until slightly charred.

Cut it in cubes and set aside. Wash strawberries and tomatoes and cut them in slices. Mince the shallot, wash arugula, and chop the basil leaves.

For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes with the rest of the ingredients, pour over the dressing, and mix gently.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the panzanella sit for about 30 minutes before serving, allowing bread to become moist and flavors to mix.

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When she’s not at farmers markets, or stirring yet another jam, or photographing an artichoke, Sara Ghedina, a.k.a. One Girl in the Kitchen, might be running in Golden Gate Park or in warrior pose. Find out more at saraghedina.com.