I figured it was over…summer, patio nights, ice cream stands—the whole thing. But when I walked in the store earlier this week I saw them—peaches. In fact, we officially have a few more days of summer. So, hold your apples and squash. We’ll get to those soon enough. For now, we have, well, not really recipes, but inspiration for how to fully exploit the last of the summer produce. I’m looking at you, peaches. And corn, you’re next.
Wayyy earlier this summer a very stylish friend introduced me to the most gorgeous take on a caprese salad, substituting ripe peaches, nectarines and plums for tomatoes. Brilliant! It was so good and so perfect (so long ago) I figured I’d missed the peach train. But she was wily that friend, and must have had some inside track on perfect pre season peaches. Flash forward to a few weeks later in California, when another friend brought massive, juicy white peaches to the party. Still later back in the northeast another friend gave me a bag of the most insanely sweet pluots. I vowed, a: to keep these friends close, and b: to buy peaches, plums and related stone fruits like it was my job until they were gone.
If they weren’t ripe I shoved them into a paper bag and waited until they were. If they were ripe they were lucky to get home before getting cut up immediately. I made peach salsa, a simple concoction of peaches and all the usual salsa suspects: jalapeno, lime, red onion, cilantro. That morphed easily into a peach bruschetta by spooning it atop toasts spread with mascarpone cheese. I even made a sugarless, no oil or fat added super virtuous peach tart which was delicious but was also the least photogenic thing on the planet. I urge you to try it, and focus on its inner beauty. Then, there was the brilliant blogger who suggested freezing leftover white wine (what’s that anyway?) and blending it up with fresh peaches for an instant Happy Hour Slurpee.
So there we have it—a few ways to enjoy your peaches and stone fruits, even though they are perfect as is. If you need an actual recipe, here is one from Real Life Delicious (which never disappoints). If you’re good with freelancing it, here is a loose guide for making Peach Caprese Salad. If you are so moved to add a sprinkling of fresh corn, you might start a trend.
Just Peachy Caprese Salad
- Greens of choice
- Ripe peaches, nectarines, plums or pluots in any combo
- Fresh Burrata or Mozzarella or a bit of both
- Avocado (optional, but kind of not optional for Vegans)
- Pesto or torn basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Balsamic glaze or good balsamic vinegar (extra credit to mix the vinegar with some maple syrup if you don’t have the glaze)
- Salt and pepper
Arrange greens in a layer on a platter.
Top with fruit slices.
Cover with slices or shreds of cheese, and/or slices of avocado.
Drizzle with pesto or scatter basil leaves on top.
Drizzle with just enough olive oil so all your ingredients feel a little love.
Drizzle (because you are so good at it now) with balsamic glaze, balsamic vinegar or balsamic/maple concoction.
Give the whole shebang a shake of salt and pepper.
This is a total make on site thing. Bust out the fresh produce and get your friends to help, or let them drink their peach slurpees and watch you create the masterpiece. It’s all good.