MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - (Family Features) When savory meets sweet, it's simply a perfect union -- especially when planning a sizzling summer-time menu. Nothing brings the palate more pleasure than a cooked sausage, slightly seared, and topped with crunchy, fresh salad and salsa toppers.

Embrace a range of simple yet flavorful ingredients
First, select a tasty base for your recipe that can be quickly and easily spiced up, such as Hillshire Farm smoked sausage. Then choose a range of fresh ingredients, such as herbs, vegetables and fruits, that when simply paired together create a delicious dish. Get creative and try unique ingredient combinations, such as red onions paired with tart green apples or mangoes. An intense blend of flavors, along with the savory appeal of sausage, will surely satisfy even the most hard-to-please appetites.

Challenge your flavor bravery by incorporating other flavor pairings into your sausage and burger toppings. Your local farmers' market is a one-stop shop for fresh, local ingredients that are found in the below recipes. It can also serve as an interactive source of inspiration where you might find an herb, vegetable or fruit you've never tried that will easily spice up your own summertime recipe.

Go global
Traditional summer fare, such as sausages and burgers, allow limitless inspiration from all corners of the globe. This recipe for Caprese Salad Topped Smoked Sausage Sandwiches combines creamy, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and grape tomatoes that channel the summer flavors of Italy. Sample a sweeter taste of Mexico with Grilled Beef Hot Links with Mango Salsa. Cook up any of these incredible creations at your next family dinner or gathering and watch the line form in seconds.

For more menu ideas and inspiration, visit www.hillshirefarm.com.

Cheddar Wurst with Corn Black Bean Salsa 
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 10 minutes 
Serves: 6 
1 cup frozen corn, cooked, drained, cooled
1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 package Hillshire Farm Cheddar Wurst Sausage Links
6 French bread rolls or hot dog buns, split

Combine corn, black beans, bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and cumin. Grill or heat sausages according to package directions, turning frequently. Place sausage in each roll, generously top with corn black bean salsa.

Grilled Beef Hot Links with Mango Salsa 
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 10 minutes 
Serves: 6 
2 cups chopped fresh mango
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  Salt to taste
1 package Hillshire Farm Beef Hot Links
6 sausage buns, split

Combine mango, black beans, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt in medium bowl. Grill links over medium-low heat according to package directions. Place grilled sausages in buns; top generously with mango salsa. Serve any remaining salsa with tortilla chips.
Tip: Substitute links with any flavor of smoked sausage or substitute 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped, for black beans.

Caprese Salad Topped Smoked Sausage Sandwiches 
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 10 minutes 
Serves: 6 
1 package Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa Smoked Sausage Links
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 package (8 ounces) fresh small mozzarella balls (cherry or ciliegine-sized), quartered
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 French bread rolls, split

Brush sausages with balsamic vinegar; set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in small skillet. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, red onion, basil and salt. Grill sausages according to package directions, turning frequently and brushing with balsamic vinegar. Place grilled sausage in each roll, generously top with tomato-mozzarella mixture.

Cheddar Wurst and Apple Kabobs 
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 12 minutes 
Serves: 6 
1 package Hillshire Farm Cheddar Wurst Sausage Links
1 large tart green apple, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Cut sausage into 18 slices. Thread sausage, apple, pepper and red onion onto 6 skewers, leaving small space between each item. Melt apple jelly in small saucepan over low heat. Add mustard, mixing until well blended. Grill kabobs over medium heat, turning frequently for 10 minutes. Brush kabobs with apple jelly mixture and grill 2 minutes longer, or until apple and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Variation: Substitute peach, zucchini and apricot preserves for apple, red bell pepper and apple preserves.

Tip: Rewarm jelly/preserves mixture briefly before brushing on kabobs if it has become too thick.

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Contact Information:

Michael French