These recipes originally appeared in the July 2023 issue of HomeLife Magazine.
Have a peach of a celebration.
Growing up, one of my favorite books was Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. To this day, it remains safely tucked away somewhere in my subconscious, thus the reason I snatched up a scrawny little peach tree from its perch on the clearance pallet at our local hardware store. Buying a peach tree wasn’t on my list, nor did I have a clue where I’d plant it once home. I didn’t even have the slightest inkling how to grow a flowering fruit tree. My motivation must have stemmed from the distant memory of a summer spent reading about a boy named James, Henry Trotter, his two wicked aunts, a few personified insects, and the flavor of a fresh peach on a hot summer day—juice dripping down my chin.
Upon arriving home that afternoon—bargain sapling in tow—I began scoping the steep rocky terrain of our lake property for a suitable planting spot. After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to place our new project near the lake and close enough to the house where we could keep an eye on it from our kitchen window.
By spring, much to my pleasure, I spied three beautiful pink blossoms amidst the green leaves, which soon turned to hardened peach stones and the beginning of its first fruits. And then, over a weekend in May, our visiting grandson, Cade—who was two at the time and barely tall enough to reach the tiny fuzzy peaches on his tippy toes—curiously plucked them from their tiny stems. And that was that.
The following season, the squirrels hijacked our future harvest before we could get to it, and by autumn that year a rather large landscaping project caused the relocation of our little tree to the top of the hill. Out of sight and out of mind, I forgot all about the little sapling for a few years until an early summer yard project forced me up the hill to inventory the work ahead. To my astonishment, our little tree had not only survived the transplant, but it had also flourished in the full sunlight of the open hillside. I found it draped with ripe yellow-red peaches—more than we could eat in one sitting. So, naturally I started perusing recipes in anticipation of sharing them with the family for the coming holiday weekend. Fortunately, the recipes were as plentiful as the peaches.
My hope this summer is for our bounty to be your benefit. So, if you fancy this in-season fuzzy fruit as much as we do, try these mouth-watering recipes, and have a peach of a celebration.
Peach Caprese Salad
Makes 4 servings
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese (sliced into large rounds)
2 large ripe peaches (sliced into rounds)
2 large ripe tomatoes (sliced into rounds)
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves (julienne strips)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. stone-ground mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. shallot (minced)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
On a small platter, arrange the mozzarella, peaches, and tomatoes in a circular fashion with one piece slightly overlapping the other. Sprinkle fresh basil around the platter. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Pour into a dispensing container with lid and drizzle over the salad. Salt and pepper to taste.
Tip from Laura
To quickly ripen peaches, place them in a sealed, brown paper bag.
Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa and Basmati Rice
Makes 4 servings
1 lb. pork tenderloin
5 Tbsp. olive oil (divided)
5 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (chopped and divided)
1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed, diced small)
2 peaches (peeled and diced)
2 tomatoes (diced)
2 onions (chopped and divided)
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 c. basmati rice
2-3/4 c. chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously season pork with salt and pepper. In a skillet over medium high heat, add two tablespoons oil. Once hot, add the seasoned tenderloin. Sear on all sides for three to four minutes. Transfer the pork to a shallow baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pork is 150 degrees in the center. Let pork stand for five to ten minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise to 160 degrees while resting. Slice pork and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Combine cilantro, jalapeño pepper, peaches, tomatoes, and one chopped onion in a bowl. Gently stir in vinegar and two tablespoons of oil. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add one tablespoon oil, rice, and one onion to the pot. Stir one minute until onion is translucent and rice is toasted. Add chicken broth and cook rice covered for 22 minutes, or until the rice fluffs with a fork. Add three tablespoons of cilantro and serve as the base of the dish. Add sliced pork and top with peach salsa.
Peach and Raspberry Skillet Cobbler
Makes 6-8 servings
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. butter (cubed)
1 c. raspberries
1-1/2 c. sliced peaches
Vanilla ice cream
Place a cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: milk, vanilla, lemon zest, and juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter cubes. Stir butter around until fully melted. Add the batter to the skillet, then sprinkle the berries and peaches on top. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.
Tip from Laura
If you prefer blueberries over raspberries, simply replace for this yummy dessert!