Warm Fuzzies for St. Louis: Peaches
I’ve never been a fan of St. Louis summers, but I am a huge fan of the abundance of juicy peaches that arrive during the summer months. These fuzzy fruits are packed with nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
Peaches are delicious on their own but they are also a great compliment to salads, meats and desserts. One of my favorite ways to eat peaches in the summer is grilled and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of cool whip. It’s a satisfying dessert that adds a boost of nutrition to your day.
Use your nose when picking peaches. Ripe peaches will have a sweet, flowery scent and a slightly softer flesh. If your peaches aren’t ripe, store them in a closed paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripened, transfer them to the fridge for up to 5 days.
The recipe below adds a tasty twist to one of my favorite salads: caprese salad. If this is your first time tasting grilled peaches you are in for a real treat.
Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad
Yield: Makes 4 servings / Prep time: 25 Minutes / Grill: 10 Minutes
5 peaches (not white)
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (6-oz.) package watercress or baby arugula, thoroughly washed
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 28 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)
Process chopped peach, green onions, next 7 ingredients, and, if desired, tequila in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth. Add oil, and pulse 3 to 4 times or until thoroughly combined.
Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with 1/3 cup peach dressing.
Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.
Arrange watercress evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer 4 grilled peach rounds and 4 cheese slices over watercress on each plate. Top each with 3 more peach rounds. Drizzle with remaining peach dressing. Garnish, if desired.
Serve with dressing.
Source: Southern Living JUNE 2008
Photo by: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen
What is your favorite way to eat peaches during the summer?