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The summer flavors of the picturesque state of Utah

Charlene Peters, More Content Now | 9/1/2017, 6 a.m.
Summertime in Utah is when snow fanatics disband and the weather seduces kayakers, mountain bikers, hikers and glamping enthusiasts.
Framed by the Wasatch Range and Bear River Mountains, Bear Lake spans 20 miles and runs from Utah into Idaho. North Beach is in Idaho and the best spot to rent a kayak for some laid-back paddling in the limestone-stained turquoise water. Charlene Peters

Summertime in Utah is when snow fanatics disband and the weather seduces kayakers, mountain bikers, hikers and glamping enthusiasts.

East of Salt Lake City, the Wasatch Range provides a picturesque backdrop to Park City. My first impression of its Main Street, with its profusion of 19th-century structures built during the area’s silver mining boom, was that it’s a main street on steroids. The uphill climb to explore its many retail shops, restaurants and bars left me panting, so I gratefully succumbed to the city’s handy, free shuttle bus. The bus led me two miles up and down hills to the entrance of The Peaks Hotel, where I checked in for two relaxing nights.

Basil Aioli on corn on the cob at 350 Main.

Basil Aioli on corn on the cob at 350 Main.

Main Street summoned me at dinnertime, where I perched at an open-window seat inside a restaurant named and located at 350 Main. The essence of summertime was translated through citrus vinaigrette splashed over orange slices, raspberries and garden-fresh salad. From my spectator’s seat, I sipped my Whispering Angel rosé and immersed myself in watching the parade of vacationing families, couples and locals strolling past.

My reverie was broken by an amazing plate of corn-on-the-cob served on a bed of orange-red Romesco sauce and chartreuse topping. So colorful! The topping was a creamy basil aioli that sent my taste buds swooning as I chomped row after tasty corn row. I swore right then and there to forever coat my corn-on-the-cob at home using this delicious recipe.

Two days later, I headed northeast toward Idaho, through Evanston, Wyoming, to Garden City. Intriguingly, this destination is known for its raspberry shakes in locations throughout Raspberry Square. I sampled a shake at Zipz, and like all the shakes in the area, it was made with thick, soft-serve ice cream meant to be devoured by spoon.

Aside from raspberries, authentic to Garden City is Bear Lake. The lake’s premier beach is about a 20-minute drive from Conestoga Ranch; North Beach is actually over the Utah border in Idaho. The beach attracts kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders, jet-skiers and motorboaters seeking a spacious body of water whose color is reminiscent of the Caribbean but whose setting is of mountains and woods full of wildlife, including cranes, mountain lions, black bear, deer and elk.

The best way to experience all that Garden City has to offer is to become one with nature, and Conestoga Ranch offers the ultimate in “glamping.”

With plenty of opportunity to hike, bike and swim, you’re sure to work up an appetite. On ranch property at Campfire Grill, Chef Vince Liberato serves up locally-sourced beef and pork, the latter smoked from a whole pig. His pork chop with deep-fried Brussels sprouts is a must-try for dinner.

Basil Aioli

Courtesy of 350 Main, Park City

• 2 cloves garlic

• ¼ cup packed basil leaves

• ¹⁄8 cup lemon juice

• 1 egg yolk

• ¼ tablespoon salt

• ¼ cup EVOO

• ¼ cup canola oil

• 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese

• 1 pinch micro-greens

Puree the basil leaves and garlic in the lemon juice in a blender. Add salt and eggs and slowly drizzle in the oils. Top with crumbles of ricotta and micro-greens.

Charlene Peters can be reached at siptripper@gmail.com.