Melinda Cater, a dietitian at Johns Hopkins’ Sibley Memorial Hospital, is a champion of farmers markets and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables that are local and in season. Here is her recipe for a summertime treat:
“If you have a grill, or even a grill pan, think about grilling stone fruit like peaches and nectarines,” Cater says. “These grilled fruits make for a beautiful dessert all on their own, but there are several other simple but delicious ways to enjoy them.”
- 6 ripe but still firm peaches or nectarines: “A combination of yellow and white fleshed fruit makes for an eye-catching presentation,” Cater says.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Prepare the fruit. “Using a paring knife, cut into the fruit near the stem until you hit the pit, then slice all the way around the fruit, from top to bottom then back up to meet with the initial cut. Twist the halves apart. Remove the pit: If necessary, work the knife underneath it to release it, but be gentle with the fruit because it bruises easily,” Cater suggests.
Heat the grill or grill pan to high heat.
Brush the grill and the cut side of the fruit lightly with olive oil to help prevent sticking.
Grill cut-side down for around two minutes until the fruit is slightly softening and has char marks. Using tongs, turn cut-side up and grill for another minute or two until soft but still firm.
“The heat on grills varies, so you may have to adjust the time accordingly. You don’t want them to get too soft or mushy, but you want them to soften some,” Cater says.
Remove to a large plate or platter, and let the peaches cool. Cater prefers to remove the peach skins. “Peach skins can be a little chewy, so I remove them.” Grilling makes it easy to gently pinch the skins away from the fruit and discard them.
“As it cools down, the fruit will give off some delicious liquid,” she notes. “You can save that and add a little to some prosecco or nonalcoholic sparkling wine and have yourself a Bellini.”
Cater says you can serve the peaches simply by putting two or three halves in a small bowl and eating them as is. “They are just that tasty,” she says.
But, if you want to get fancy, Cater says there are other ways to enjoy grilled peaches either right off the grill or left over:
- Place a small scoop of raspberry sorbet or vanilla ice cream in the center of each half for a simple, delicious dessert.
- Quarter them and combine with arugula, some crumbled feta cheese, some torn mint leaves and vinaigrette for a summery salad.
- Cut into wedges and serve as a side with grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin.
- Chop them and use to top your oatmeal in the morning, or add them to Greek yogurt for a little natural sweetness.