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Peach (c)2011

I’ve got 10 fresh ideas for cooking with summer:

1.  BBQ Sauce

I found a recipe for Smoked Prime Rib with Peach-Chipotle Sauce in the June/July 2011 issue of Saveur: BBQ Nation. Pitmaster Charles Grund of NYC restaurant Country Barbecue uses chunky peach preserves, chipotle, cayenne, Worcestershire, and brown sugar in a tomato based BBQ sauce. You could use peaches to develop your own house barbecue sauce.

2.  Peaches Love Herbs

In Canal House Cooking Volume No. 1, the Peaches “Poached” in White Wine with Fresh Herbs seems like the perfect summer treat. The use of tarragon and lemon verbena makes the recipe fresh and new. Peaches also get along great with the herb basil. Eric Ripert shares a recipe for Grappa-Marinated Peach & Basil Salad in his book, A Return to Cooking.

3.  Peach Leaves

Chez Panisse Fruit contains instructions for making Vin de Pêche, a fortified wine made from the peach leaves. The recipe calls for steeping the leaves in red wine, Cognac, and sugar. After 1 month the liquid is strained and leaves removed. Vin de Pêche is served as an apéritif over ice. Another Vin de Pêche recipe can be found in Aperitif by Georgeanne Brennan.

4.  Bottle Your Own

Why buy canned peaches when you can make them yourself from locally grown varieties? The Produce Bible gives straightforward instructions for canning freestone peaches with sugar. In the middle of winter you’ll have local fruit in your pantry.

5.  Salsa

In Canning For a New Generation, Liana Krissoff suggests serving Peach and Cilantro Salsa with chips, tacos, grilled pork loin or fish. The recipe combines peaches with lime juice, bell pepper, Serrano chiles, red pepper flakes and mint among other ingredients.

6.  Smoothie

A peach smoothie is satisfying without being overly sweet. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Peach Melba Smoothie in River Cottage Every Day combines ripe peaches with raspberries, orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. This sounds so good!

7.  Grill It!

Grilled peaches are popular and for good reason: the heat of the grill caramelizes the sugars yielding juicy, warm fruit with sweetly charred grill lines. Jamie Oliver pairs grilled peaches with bresaola (cured beef), arugula, and goat cheese in Jamie at Home. Such a beautiful balance of flavors: sweet, salty, peppery, savory, creamy, and tangy!

8.  Free Form Crusted Galette

The flavor of yellow peaches is well suited a galette, basically a freeform tart made with flaky pie dough. A galette is perfect for the lazy days of summer. The shape is rustic and requires less effort than putting together a pie. You’ll find a recipe for peach Galette in the Tartine cookbook.

9.  Peaches & Duck

Sweet, floral peaches have long been a popular pairing with the rich flavor of duck. Dorie Greenspan shares a recipe for Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches in her latest book, Around My French Table. Dorie pan sears duck breasts and then finishes them in the oven. She sautées garlic and thyme with halved, peeled peaches and then makes a honey-port sauce. That is gourmet my friend!

10.  Peaches & Pinot Nero

I often see peaches cooked in white wine, so when I came across a recipe for Peaches in Pinot Nero (Italian Pinot Noir) I had to put it on this list. The ladies from London River Cafe include the recipe in their cookbook, Italian Easy. White peaches are covered in a light red wine along with some lime zest. After marinating for an hour they are ready to be served in a wine glass. Great party food, I think!

What’s your favorite way to use peaches? Let me know in the comments section. Click Here.