“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.”
– Alice Walker
Bite into a perfectly ripe peach before summer takes its leave—taste its so-sweet flesh, feel its juice dribble down your chin, wriggle your toes in the green grass and know summertime.
A member of the stone fruit family (so named because their pits are big as stones), peaches herald the apex of summer. Keeping them company: plums, nectarines, apricots, and the tiniest stone fruit, the cherry, which we wrote about a few weeks back. (Read the story here.)
Rich in vitamins and minerals, and full of fiber, stone fruits are a nutritious and delicious summertime treat. Below are a smattering of recipes that put their flavor on display.
As always, Clean Plates recommends using organic ingredients whenever possible. Consider replacing sugar with a natural sweetener like coconut palm sugar or stevia.
Peach and Tomato Gazpacho, anyone? Don’t mind if we do. Shallots, thyme and white wine vinegar add flavor to this simple summer soup.
Sweet meets spicy in this recipe for Gingery Salmon with Peaches, which pairs grilled salmon, peaches and onions with a gingery dressing. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have all kinds of health benefits, and ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which helps your body resist disease.
The New York Times offers up this divine-looking recipe for an Apricot Smoothie. Grab your blender and mix up some fresh apricots, probiotic-rich yogurt, a bit of orange juice to help liquify, and a touch of honey and almond extract. Enjoy on a hot summer afternoon. Tip: try freezing the smoothie mixture in popsicle molds.
As summer fades into fall, impress guests with this recipe for Roasted Pork Loin with Poached Plums from Bon Appetit. The plums “bring a bit of acidity to a spicy sauce”; wine, shallots, thyme, and star anise also play a part in this flavor medley.
Or, make plums the centerpiece come dessert time with this recipe for Roasted Plums with Greek Yogurt. Top with toasted hazelnuts and voila! A sweet, healthy summer dessert.
NPR offers up a delightful recipe for a Grilled Nectarine, Arugula and Prosciutto Salad. This sweet and smoky blend also features blue cheese and walnuts. I’m picturing myself eating this on the deck with my husband on a warm summer evening, maybe with a glass of Reisling (I’m a pescetarian so I’d skip the prosciutto).
Finally, celebrate the flavors of multiple stone fruits with a Mixed Stone Fruit Salsa, or this simple Stone Fruit Salad with Sugared Berries from legendary chef Alice Waters. Known for the emphasis she places on the quality of every ingredient, Waters stresses that the fruit you use should be “dead ripe.”
“Fruit is Ms. Waters’s preferred way to end a meal,” writes Kitty Greenwald in the Wall Street Journal article with this recipe, “and at Chez Panisse it comes unadorned and neatly arranged in footed copper dishes.”
Which brings me to my last recipe idea: relax, bite into a juicy peach/apricot/plum/nectarine, and enjoy. Ahhh.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy stone fruits?