Six peachy (and apricot-y) recipes for summer

by Terry B on June 26, 2013

Peaches and apricots each play parts in six breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that run from sweet to savory and first course through dessert. Recipes below.

peaches

Summer is under way, and stone fruits are filling produce shelves. Peaches, apricots and numerous varieties of plums beckon with their rich colors and heady aromas. Sure, they’re delicious to eat out of hand, their juices running down your chin. But they’re also great to cook with. Here are a half dozen recipes from the Blue Kitchen archives that do just that.

1. Pork Chops with Balsamic Peaches

balsamic-peach-pork

Pork plays beautifully with fruit—and with spices. Here, bone-in chops seasoned with cumin and chili powder are pan seared. Peach slices are tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cayenne pepper, then sautéed with shallots and served over the chops. You’ll find the recipe here.

2. Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

arugula_peach_salad

This salad really only needs a listing of its ingredients to tell you all you need to know—arugula, peaches, goat cheese and chives topped with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, Japanese rice vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Creamy, tart, peppery, sweet and summery, all on one plate—and often in the same bite. Here’s the recipe.

3. Rosemary Apricots

rosemary-apricots

This classic French dessert uses just three ingredients—apricots, rosemary and sugar (okay, four, if you count water). It is quick and brainlessly easy to make, and its elegant simplicity never fails to impress. Ever. Here is the recipe. Merci.

4. Grilled Peaches and Tomatoes with Whole Grain Pasta

peaches-pasta

Pan-grilled peaches star in this satisfying, sweet/savory vegetarian meal Marion created. They get ample support from cherry tomatoes, scallions, shaved Parmesan and whole grain pasta (spaghetti here). Here’s the recipe.

5. Chicken, Goat Cheese & Apricot Jam Sandwich

chicken_apricot_sandwich

Technically, since you use apricot jam instead of fresh apricots on this sandwich, you can make it year-round. But it really tastes like summer. Quickly assembled with leftover supermarket roast chicken, a nice baguette, the jam, some arugula and goat cheese, it’s summertime easy too. The recipe, if you want to call it that, is here.

6. French Toast with Fruit & Mint

french-toast2a

Here, use peaches or apricots with seasonal berries, mint and a squeeze of lemon juice for a delicious take on a weekend breakfast favorite, French toast. I promise, you won’t miss the usual sticky syrup or powdered sugar. Recipe here.

Now it’s your turn. How do you make the most of the summer bounty of peaches and apricots—and plums for that matter—in your kitchen?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina June 26, 2013 at 4:26 am

Oh stonefruit, I could sing about you for days!

Thanks for sharing these ideas. I like how tomatoes and peaches play together; last night, I added sliced peaches to the summer-regular salad of tomatoes, garlic, basil, EVOO, and balsamic, and it was a great addition. I can see them tasting great together in the pasta dish, too. In response to a similar post on my site, someone just recommended a peach-tomato soup that I’m definitely going to explore. And, I love adding either peaches or apricots to fluffy green salads, as you do in your first recommendation. Mmmm.

Since I have so many of both from my trees, there are lots of ways the fruit gets used around here. Jams of both, of course, but also chutneys, fruit butters, pies, tarts, apricot nectar (seriously swoon worthy), etc. This year I canned lots and lots of peaches in a bourbon vanilla bean syrup, and I’m really happy with that addition to my cupboard. Many of these things that I put up now end up used as recipe ingredients in future meals when the fruit’s not longer here. In January, we can have bellinis made with apricot nectar, or like you recommend in the 5th suggestion, a good smear of stonefruit jam with something savory.

But, if canning and most preserving isn’t one’s thing–completely understandable–there is a preserve that I think is worth stretching one’s comfort zone for, and that is liqueur. There are many variations of apricot or peach liqueur recipes; they aren’t hard; most leave you with something really special that can be used in a fascinating mixed drink, or gifted as bottles of summer when it is blustery outside.

I really look forward to seeing other people’s peach and apricot ideas. Thanks for starting the discussion!

kitchenriffs June 26, 2013 at 4:26 am

We’re beginning to get pretty decent stone fruits in our supermarkets, and of course I’m in love with them (same as it is every year). I’m still in the juice running down the chin stage, but pretty soon I’ll be doing more interesting things — and not just desserts, although who can resist a nice fruit pie or crisp? I really enjoy roasting fruit, and need to make your grilled peaches and tomato pasta dish (grilling is a great substitute technique for roasting). Fruit salsas are also fun to make — I’ve never tried to make a plum one before, and kinda like the idea. Fun post — thanks.

randi June 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Peaches and plum are my favourite fruits but I’m wary when buying them. I’m almost always disappointed. They’re too mealy. There is that small 2 week window when they are perfect…in Ontario anyway (Niagara Falls area grown peaches).
Not a huge fan of canned (which is what my husband will only eat) but I would imagine they would be OK grilled.
That chicken goat cheese and apricot jam sandwich is making me hungry :)

jeri June 27, 2013 at 12:32 am

My local market has terrible peaches, but great nectarines, so I substitute. I love them with arugula. And today I was out of raisins so I sliced one up into my crockpot curried chicken. It has a few hours to go, but it smells good.

Terry B June 27, 2013 at 3:58 am

Christina, the peach-tomato soup idea sounds wonderful. And regarding your “good smear of stone fruit jam with something savory,” a semi-related thing I made a while back (and can taste right now) is this Bacon Marmalade Sandwich on Pumpernickel Toast..

Kitchenriffs, we love fruit in salsas, particularly mango. But the plum idea sounds awesome.

Randi, peaches are tricky everywhere. Some years, they can go from baseball hard to moldy science experiment overnight, with no apparent in-between stage. But when they’re good, they’re so very good.

Jeri, you must report back!

Helen June 27, 2013 at 7:32 am

I love Peaches but it is difficult to find good peaches at the local market, but great recipes nonetheless

Kathryn Von Buren June 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I agree – good peaches are hard to find unless you go straight to the source, the peach tree. They are picked so green for the supermarkets these days that when they ripen there is little sweetness. Nothing beats a farm fresh tree ripened peach. Unfortunately the local season is short, but most of these recipes could be made with frozen peaches. Time to invest in a deep freezer!

Terry B June 29, 2013 at 6:05 am

Helen and Kathryn—Yeah, peaches are hit and miss everywhere. But we still buy them and ripen them in a paper bag—because when they’re good, they’re really good.

Adam July 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

All of these sound delicious! I love peaches and have been dying to try grilled peaches! Thanks for sharing!

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