If you’ve been browsing the fruit aisle the last two weeks, you’ve probably noticed the arrival of one of the juiciest and sweetest summer fruits – that’s right, it’s peach season! Whether you bake them, add them to fruit salad, blend them into a smoothie, or just dig your teeth in for a bite, peaches are delicious no matter how you eat them. In the spirit of spending as much time outside during the summer, I decided to take my latest haul from the farmers’ market straight to the grill to serve grilled peaches and ice cream. Grilling peaches brings out their natural juiciness and intensifies their sweetness. For extra flavor, add a drizzle of honey and/or balsamic reduction and a few basil leaves. Fresh basil has a borderline sweet flavor, but is savory enough to balance the sweet grilled peaches perfectly. So pick up some fresh summer peaches and basil next time you’re at the farmers’ market and delight your taste buds with a bowl of grilled peaches and ice cream.
Grilled Peaches a la Mode
Yield: 4 servings
2 peaches (yellow or white)
Tillamook Unsalted Butter or cooking oil spray
Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream (or another flavor of your choice)
Reduced balsamic vinegar (recipe below)
2 tablespoons honey
A handful of fresh basil leaves
1. Slice your peaches into thick slices (½ inch or thicker), and remove the pit.
2. Fire up the grill to medium heat. I recommend grilling your peaches in a grill pan or cast iron skillet if you have one handy, but straight on the grill will work fine too. Lightly oil the grill grate with cooking spray, or if you’re using a cast iron or grill pan, use Tillamook Butter.
3. Place your peach slices onto the grill and cook for about 3 minutes, then flip over using a spatula or delicately using tongs (your peaches will be tender, so if you flip too aggressively, they may fall apart), and cook for another three minutes.
4. Once the flesh of your peaches shows signs of caramelization (grill marks), remove from the grill and set aside to cool for two minutes. You don’t want them to cool completely, but putting them directly on your ice cream will melt it too fast.
5. Place a scoop or two of Tillamook Ice Cream into four bowls and place two peach slices on top. Dress with balsamic reduction (recipe below) or drizzle with some local honey and add a few fresh basil leaves. Enjoy immediately!
Yield: ¼ cup
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until the vinegar has reduced by about a half (about 20 minutes). If you see your sauce thicken and smell strong balsamic in the air, you’re doing it right. If you want a thicker sauce, you may continue to heat while stirring until you have about ¼ cup.
2. As soon as you have the consistency you’d like, remove the pan from heat and let it cool before spooning over your ice cream.