Summer might be drawing to a close, but the fruits of the season are at their peak, and restaurants, bakeries, brewers and artisan producers are all creating dishes that celebrate what's ripe right now, and not always in the way you expect.

"Obviously, everyone eats more fruit and vegetables in the summer. We stuff ourselves with our bowls of berries and wedges of watermelon," said On the Coast food columnist Anya Levykh in an interview with CBC host Gloria Macarenko.

"It's always good to remember that the bounty is really available year-round, and in many different forms, some of which you might not automatically think of."

Keep reading for her highlights.

Blueberries galore

Yew Restaurant Blueberry Cookie

These blueberry cookies are are dairy and nut and gluten-free and make a great breakfast on the go. (The Four Seasons)

For a take-home fruit-inspired beverage, try Howe Sound Brewing's Blueberry Wheat Ale.

"It's got blueberries. Anti-oxidant beer," Levykh joked.

The refreshingly light flavour pairs well with pasta, grilled vegetables and light chicken and pork dishes, Levykh said.  

There's also a blueberry power cookie that chef Ned Bell and executive pastry Chef Bruno Feldeisen make at The Four Seasons Hotel. You can pick up it up any time of year at the Yew Restaurant, but right now, it's made with fresh, local blueberries

A savoury summer tarte

Tomato Tarte Provence

This savoury summer tarte is just one of the ways local restaurants and bakeries are serving up fresh, local produce this year. (Hamid Attie)

"We forget that tomatoes are a fruit, and they are beautiful right now," said Levykh. 

Provence Marinaside is offering a stunning tomato tarte. 

"It's still got that little bit of kick of acidity in it from the ripe tomatoes. Because they're so ... full of sunshine, it really comes through in a nice way."

All the Provence restaurants are participating in the company's tomato festival this month. 

This tarte is just one of the dishes off the menu, which is unique at each restaurant and features three courses with multiple choices for each course.

The tomatoes they are using come from Covert Farms, a 700-acre organic farm and winery in the south Okanagan

Saving the best for last

Lucky's doughnut Bismarck

This blackberry-filled doughnut is topped with chèvre glaze and candied walnut. Available at Lucky's Doughnuts. (Lucky's Doughnuts)

For something a little sweeter, Levykh recommends the blueberry bourbon maple syrup croissants from Beaucoup Bakery on Granville Island. 

"Beaucoup is known for their croissants because you can see the ridging on the croissant is so delicately done, the layers of the pastry," Levykh said. 

Not to mention the big, juicy blueberries. "I say that every blueberry you eat cancels out a carb portion and the butter," she joked.

Lucky's Doughnuts has taken advantage of the amazing fruit this summer by making three kinds of fruit doughnuts.

The first is a Bismarck filled with peach jam that they make in-house, topped with basil meringue. Next is a blackberry-filled doughnut topped with chevre glaze and candied walnuts. And finally comes a vanilla custard-filled doughnut topped with a white wine-poached plum glaze.


To hear the full interview with Anya Levykh, listen to the audio labelled: Fruit-forward food.