Eat a Peach
By Meda Kessler
Photos by Meda Kessler
Summertime, and the peach pickin’ is easy.
Growers around the state — East Texas, the Hill Country and Parker County west of Fort Worth — all lay claim to the “best peach” title. We think part of the fun is taste-testing different types from a variety of sources. We just follow our nose to that heady aroma of perfectly ripe stone fruit. For our peach sampler, we opted for savory preparations over sweet. There are countless recipes for desserts — cobblers, buckles, crisps and pies. And, admittedly, we’re pretty happy simply slicing fresh fruit for a topping on really good vanilla ice cream. But we love peaches paired with thin slices of salty ham. Or as the punctuation mark to a perfectly grilled pork chop. We like to punch up barbecue sauce with peaches and use them to make chunky salsa. A snack option would be a peach crostini using crispy bacon or prosciutto and herbed ricotta. Inspired? Get those peach juices (and creative ones) flowing.
Peach and Bacon Crostini with Herbed Ricotta
Blend by hand 1 cup ricotta, 1½ tablespoons honey and ¼ cup basil until well combined. Chop 6 slices of bacon into thin strips and bake or fry until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Cut 3 peaches into thin slices. Grill 16 to 20 baguette slices for 1 or 2 minutes on each side. Top with a smear of ricotta, strips of bacon and a peach slice. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Grilled Pork Chop with Peaches
Pork and peaches go together like peas and carrots. Tomahawk chops make a statement, and so does grilled fruit. Quarter 2 to 3 peaches for 2 servings. In a bowl, mix fruit with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. Grill chops over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the peaches with a little fresh thyme and serve alongside the chops.
Grace Texas Peaches with Country Ham and Tarragon Aioli
Graeme Seawell has taken over executive-chef duties while Blaine Staniford concentrates on 61 Osteria, the Italian restaurant opening this fall. One of Seawell’s summer menu appetizers is a simple dish with a perfect balance of salty and sweet. He layers thin slices of Lady Edison country ham with chunks of ripe peaches. He dots the dish with tarragon-spiked aioli and bits of a puffed amaranth cracker and then finishes it off with cracked black pepper. (We replicated this at home using a store-bought seeded cracker.)
777 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3388, gracefortworth.com
Malai Kitchen Peach Tea Wheat Beer
The Peach Ginger Detox Green Iced Tea is a bestseller, so it’s no surprise that the in-house brewer makes a refreshing beverage with it as well. With the addition of fresh peach, candied ginger and witbier spice,
it’s refreshing and an easy drinker in this hot weather.
The Shops at Clearfork, 5289 Monahans Ave., Fort Worth, 682-707-3959; Park Village, 1161 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817- 251-9141; malaikitchen.com
Mason & Dixie Herbed Salad with Peaches
This downtown Grapevine restaurant recently reopened for dinner. For a seasonal, off-the-menu special, owner Beth Newman layers an arugula salad with mint and basil, mozzarella and sliced peaches sprinkled with chopped pecans. She tops it with a slightly sweet saba vinaigrette dressing.
603 S. Main St., Grapevine, 817-707-2111, masonanddixietx.com