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Grilled Peach & Garden Tomato Salad

Sometimes I am reluctant to buy peaches because I have this thing where I think they’re a lot of work.  They have fuzz, they may or may not be sweet and ripe, what else can you do with them except eat them just like that…  But since having moved to BC and being able to get fairly local peaches (they grow about 3-4 hours drive from my home), just ripe off the tree, in all their juicy glory, it would be a crime NOT to!

The farmer’s markets are bursting with peaches these days, but it won’t last – better get them now or you will be forced to contend with hard, unripened, ‘foreign’ varieties, that might as well just remain on the shelf.

Today I decided to experiment with grilled peaches, since I have heard so much about this method of cooking them that I wanted to see for myself.  Of course, I don’t have a BBQ right now, because my only outdoor space is a 3’x4′ balcony, and I didn’t have time to pull out my indoor grill.  Ok, I didn’t feel like bothering… just wanted to get on with dinner because I was hungry!  So I decided to ‘grill’ them in a pan, which besides not having those nifty grill marks, turned out pretty great.

I have a hard time just leaving things alone when it comes to food, so I searched out a recipe for a peach salad or side dish and found one for a Peach and Garden Tomato Toss, in which the peaches are not grilled (their loss, I might add).  I just happened to have a box of luscious garden tomatoes from my father in law’s amazing garden, (remember my teeny balcony?), so I decided this would be a perfect pair.

You’ll find the recipe below, but I wanted to fill you in on the other ways I love to gorge (is that a word?) out on peaches this time of year.

Peaches in fruit salad

Sounds ridiculously obvious… but I made this the other day with apples and prune plums, with a drizzle of lemon, lime, maple syrup and cinnamon, and oh my goodness it was amazing.

Peach Yogurt

Not the store-bought, sugar-laden variety.  The real deal with plain yogurt (not low-fat), with some juicy peaches cut up and added in.

Peach Compote

Peel the peaches, cut into small pieces, add to a small pot with a bit of water, a drizzle of honey and a dash of cinnamon.  Simmer until soft.  Spread on whole grain toast, homemade pancakes or french toast or mix into your morning muesli.  Hint: soft fruit like peaches and tomatoes are easier to peel with a soft-fruit peeler!  They have tiny serrated edges that don’t dig into the tender fruit flesh.

Peach Crumble

Basically the same as any other fruit crumble or crisp!  Use your favourite recipe and substitute. You may need less sugar if  you are using a rhubarb recipe though, since rhubarb is quite sour and requires more sugar.

Ok, now for the feature recipe!

Grilled Peach & Garden Tomato Salad

What you’ll need:

2 firm ripe peaches
4 large ripe garden tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Shredded fresh basil, cilantro or mint

What to do:

  • Slice the peaches into thick rounds, brush with olive oil and grill on med-high heat.  You can fry them in a pan as well.
  • Slice the tomatoes and arrange them with the grilled peaches on a platter.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients except fresh herbs and pour over the salad.
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs.

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