One of my absolute favorite things about summer is the food. The tastes and flavors are lighter. The availability of fresh produce plentiful and the simplicity in which you can prepare a meal, much more evident at this time of year. I love working with what is in season, whatever that season may be and there are certain flavors that are just symbolic with the season we are in now…
Biting into a tomato sandwich with cheese, white bread, mayo and a little salt and pepper is one of them. I do not eat white bread at any other time of year except in the summer… for a tomato sandwich. Sounds odd, but I am sure that you have your favorite summer foods, based on what part of the country or the world is which you reside. One thing carries through though, and that is the freshness of the food.
We have a very old peach tree on our property that yielded a bumper crop this year. The old branches were so heavily laden that they swooped the ground. We could not let them be devoured by the resident deer so we made it a point to pick as many as we could.
Now what to do with them? They came into harvest right before we were leaving for our summer vacation so canning them was not an option. Half of them were ripe and half still had more time to ripen on the branches. Some of them we cut up and froze and the others we took with us on our trip. I have always packed up in the car whatever fresh goodies that are abundantly coming into season for our road trips… vegetables, fruits, herbs and even flowers.
This bundle went with us on our ride down South. They travel well if you wrap their stems in a water soaked paper towel which you then place in a ziplock bag. Wrap a rubber band around the base of the stems to enclose the paper towel in the bag. When you get to your destination, place them in a glass container with fresh water which you can change out daily. These made the drive of 12 hours; oregano, sage, basil and mint and we used them throughout the vacation to cook with and make fresh mojitos. I wanted to share with you two recipes that I used the fresh peaches in that were a hit.
The first recipe I saw in the July- August issue of Country Living magazine. It was delicious and I highly recommend it!
Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad
The recipe makes 8 servings ( I doubled the recipe for we had quite a crew here!)
3 TBLS fresh lemon juice
3 TBLS olive oil
2 tsp pure honey
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced (if you cannot find, use a jalapeño)
Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ripe but firm peaches, cut into wedges
2 avocados, pitted and cut into wedges
1/2 cup fresh mint, torn if large leaves, plus a few more leaves for garnish
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
1. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, honey, shallot, and chile in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add peaches and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 mins. and up to an hour. The longer you let it sit the more flavor the peaches will take on.
3. To serve: Add avocado and mint and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and top with pistachios. Garnish with some fresh mint and display on a pretty platter.
Serve with a light rose wine and yum!!!
The second recipe is a little more traditional in using the flavor of the peach. This is my favorite recipe for a Peach Crisp.
( not to be confused with a peach cobbler whose topping has a more cake like consistency)
This recipe makes an 8″ x 8″ pan of Peach Crisp. I made this recipe twice and doubled it the second time which resulted in using a larger baking pan.
3/4 c light brown sugar
3/4 c rolled oats not instant
1/3 c flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
6 TBLS cold butter cut into pieces
Mix the above 5 ingredients together with a spoon and add in the cold butter which you can cut in with your hands or a pastry cutter. ( I always find that my hands do a better job!) Put the topping mix in the fridge while you make the filling.
1/3 c light brown sugar
1 TBLS lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional ~ sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t!)
- Mix the above 4 ingredients together until well blended. Pour on top of the sliced peaches and evenly distribute over them.
- Spread the peach mixture in the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.
- Top the peaches with the crumble part that you had been keeping cool in the fridge. Evenly distribute over the peaches and bake at 425 degrees for approx. 20 mins until the fruit bubbles and the topping lightly browns.
Serve with either a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream (homemade of course) or vanilla flavored Greek yogurt.
By the way… this little dessert is just as good the next day for breakfast with vanilla greek yogurt and a cup of coffee… Yum!
What is your favorite summer recipe that just does not taste the same at any other time of the year? Would love to have you share them for we are always up to trying out a new recipe!
To the taste of summer!