Nothing says summer to me like the smell of a juicy ripe peach. I wait anxiously for them all year and when the moment finally arrives that the sensuous flesh is creamy and sweet I'll buy them by the bagful , devouring them fresh and creating wonderful soups, cocktails and of course the occasional buttery cobbler! My sister who has more of a way with sugar , butter and flour than anyone that I’ve ever met makes the most delectable pies and cobblers all summer long. I swear that I don’t know how she does it, but every time I eat one of her fabulous desserts I am transported back in time to a place where the world was incredibly lazy, buttery and wholesomely good.
Peaches are one of the fruits that work as beautifully when they are blended into a savory dish as they do with ingredients that are decadent and sweet. The simplest way to enjoy them is with a knife and a hammock, cutting slices of fresh peach and devouring them under a soft breeze. However, there are so many wonderful dishes that you can create with them and a few of these suggestions will I hope surprise and delight you all at the same time!
Currently while the peaches are so ripe, my favorite thing to do with them is make soup. Chilled peach soup is wonderful and can be an aperitif or a dessert depending upon the sweet and savory components that you choose. One of my favorite things to add to the mixture is the piquant surprise of a raw Ancho chili. Make this and you’ll see why!
For this delicious soup you will need:
6 large fresh
Flesh of 4 small ripe nectarines
4 cups of apricot juice
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup of fresh basil leaves/ mixed varieties
1/2 seeded Ancho chili
1 cup of fresh mascarpone mixed with 1/4 cup fresh raspberries, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, 1/4 cup red grape juice- blended until smooth.
1 Bottle of Prosecco or Cava
Place all ingredients (except tofu mixture) into the pitcher of a Vitamix and blend until smooth. Pour into a tureen and add 1/2 a bottle of the Prosecco. Stir gently and taste adding more agave, cinnamon or juice to taste.
Ladle into small bowls and swirl a bit of the Mascarpone /raspberry through the fruit soup.
A fairly decadent thing to do with the flesh of sweet juicy peaches is to make them into a wonderful body scrub. Just take a cup or two of fresh peach slices and put them into a bowl. Add ½ a cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of fresh yogurt (full fat!), a teaspoon of cinnamon and a cup and a half of raw sugar. Mash together!
When you’re ready, draw a warm bath and soak for at least 10 minutes. Then rub the peach mixture all over your body using a circular motion and leave on for at least 10 minutes. Then shower off and towel dry leaving your skin peaches and cream smooth and smelling simply wonderful!
Finally, fresh peaches and raspberries marry beautifully with many different meats, but my favorite thing to cook them with is pork tenderloin.
It’s a very simple recipe...Pork tenderloins rubbed with a dry rub of your choice and then put into a pan with fresh onions , green, red and yellow peppers, about 4 cups of fresh peaches, a bag of frozen raspberries, a bottle of Heinz chili sauce, a cup of Jim Beam Red Stag cherry flavored bourbon, fresh garlic and about 1 cup of "Soy Vay" or any good teriyaki marinade. Bake slowly in a 350 oven and baste constantly. Finish with about 1 cup maple syrup and put back into the oven for 5 more minutes to glaze. Remove from pan, reduce the juices and serve sliced with a side of hash brown sweet potatoes and a fresh sweet corn , beet and arugula salad! If you want to substitute chicken go right ahead and I promise that it will be just as good!
Now dance over to Roxana Villa's Illuminated Journal for some fragrant musings about using the gorgeous scent of peaches in perfume!
All photographs by Beth Schreibman Gehring with the exception of the peaches and cream photograph which is courtesy of www.sweetsperfume.com