Tag Archives: peaches

Just Peachy Caprese Salad

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.

Bringing it:

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.


John Boy’s Rustic Peach Crostata


Just peachy. And rusticy. And easy. Oooh la la!

I am chomping at the bit for apple season. And yet, there are still watermelons and peaches and fresh corn to be had, not to mention the low maintenance fish tacos (coming soon) that can be the dinner anchor for all that fresh fruit. So back off, fall. Today we’re all about peaches.

So good, so luscious, so hard to bake them in to anything before eating them all fresh. BUT here is your best chance of that. I started summer by making a rustic blueberry crostata with a homemade crust. The crust had some whole wheat goodness and toasted pecans mixed in. It was indeed really good. But it involved crust making, which takes time and actual care. Let’s be honest. Homemade crust can be a dealbreaker. This recipe is built on a premade roll out crust, which I believe is one of the most life-enhancing low-tech inventions of the late 20th century. It brings pie and crostata making within reach of everyone who can cut a piece of fruit.

I was introduced to this by my sister who was introduced to it by our brother-in-law. As far as I am concerned, a man who makes crostata (and he made his own crust by the way) gets all the credit for its invention. Hence the name. The “Boy” is added in a nod to those pie-making Waltons of yore. I added the slacker reliance on premade dough, the optional rustic tweak of pecans and cornmeal to the crust, and the suggestion of yogurt whipped cream.

With that I give you a taste of late summer, and a solid stand against the inevitable onslaught of apples and pumpkins.

John Boy Rustic Peach Crostata

Makes 6 servings


  • Prepared pastry dough (uncooked), enough for a 9-inch pie pan
  • 1 Tbsp or so cornmeal (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • 4 large peaches, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more cinnamon if that’s your thing (totally optional and awesome)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Ice cream, whipped cream or whipped yogurt cream (recipe below) for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. (A large rimmed baking sheet is best, as long as you can fit the dough into it. If using an un-rimmed baking sheet put another pan underneath to catch the drippings.) Sprinkle cornmeal (is using) on parchment paper and set the uncooked pie dough onto the baking sheet.

Sprinkle the dough with pecans, if using. Roll dough lightly with a rolling pin to smoosh them in.

In a bowl, gently mix peaches, sugar, flour (and cinnamon if using) together. Pour fruit mixture into the center of the pastry round, leaving about 2 1/2 inches around the edge. Fold up the edge of the pastry dough over the filling to make a rim. Fan the edge as you go around folding the dough.

Brush pastry with the beaten egg (milk and a sprinkle of sugar works too) and place the pat of butter on top of the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool the crostata on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature  with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream.

Yogurt Whipped Cream

Courtesy of Food52 and Saveur and dairy farmers everywhere

Makes about 3 cups of whipped cream


  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, Greek or otherwise, full-fat or otherwise, chilled (I used nonfat Greek)


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or with a hand mixer or whisking by hand like Grandma Walton, beat heavy cream and yogurt on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Taste and add more yogurt or cream to taste and whisk again to soft peaks.

Bringing it:

Don’t try to transfer this off the parchment paper…even if you really want to get a nice picture for a blog. High chance of failure, and possibly tears. Transport it on the baking sheet and rewarm it in the over, or put the crostata, parchment and all, onto a platter and serve it up at room temperature.