August is National Peach Month. Who could resist celebrating this fuzzy fruit all month long?
Sweet peaches are a summer staple and an extremely versatile ingredient. These fruits actually originated in China thousands of year ago and have made their way all around the world. They can be found during July and August at your nearest farmer’s market. There are over 2000 peach varieties in the world and over 300 of those are found in the United States.
Peaches can be categorized by the following:
- All peaches are either clingstone or freestone (see this previous post for further explanation).
- There are white and yellow varieties. The white varieties tend to be sweeter and more difficult to find. Yellow varieties are more widely available due to a longer growing season. Both colors can be used interchangeably in recipes based on availability and personal preference.
- The shape of a peach can vary from very round with a pointed end (what we generally associate as a peach) to a flat shape, rounding in towards the center, such as a donut peach.
If you find a new variety, try it! You might find a new favorite treat.
And try these fun and fruity recipes to bring some sweetness to summer’s end. Chilled Peach Soup is a refreshing appetizer that pairs easily with many of our favorite grilled main dishes. The Peach Crostinis are a quick and easy first course or snack that are both sweet and tangy and will keep your guests coming back for more.
Chilled Peach Soup
- 4 cups fresh peaches, peeled, sliced (about 5)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 6 oz plain yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh mint for garnish
- Combine peaches, wine, cinnamon, and cardamom in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Peaches should be soft.
- Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor or blender until smooth.
- Add honey, lemon, yogurt, and vanilla extract to blender and pulse until combined. Add additional yogurt to thicken.
- Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Garnish with mint when ready to serve.
- 2 peaches, sliced
- ½ baguette, sliced into 1-inch rounds
- 6 oz goat cheese, whipped
- 12 basil leaves (or 6 halved)
- Balsamic glaze
- Set oven to broil. Toast baguette slices until golden, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Spread goat cheese on toasted baguette slices.
- Add basil leaves and then a peach slice.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze.