This month, our columnist Anna Hedworth, aka The Grazer, offers up a new take on peaches
I had some amazing peaches arrive at Cook House a few weeks ago. The perfect sweetness and ripeness, I’ve been putting them on the menu at home and at events as much as possible ever since. It’s a good time for late summer fruits like these, plus apricots, nectarines, grapes and I’ve been cooking, grilling, pickling, poaching and more.
We held a big BBQ night at Cook House and decided to do every course on the BBQ, including pudding and cheese accompaniments.
When you’ve cooked all your meat and vegetables on your BBQ it often feels a shame that you still have such a nice fire and nothing else to cook, so I loaded the grill up with fruit. Grilled grapes are delicious with cheese – just pop them on the BBQ until they start to blacken and burst, let them cool a little and serve with good local cheese.
Grilled peaches are my current favourite, and can be served in a number of ways – with a dollop of cream or with feta on toast for lunch, or as a pudding with a delicious sweet whipped cheese. Enjoy!
Your peaches need to be ripe, so buy them a good few days before you plan to serve them. Run a knife round to halve each one and twist to free from the stone, then lever the stone out with a knife. Brush the cut side with some oil and place cut side down on the grill for about 5 minutes (less if the fire is particularly hot). Then use a fish slice to scrape them free and flip them over, leaving them to grill until they’re hot and juicy and look like they’re starting to collapse a bit. Remove from the heat and serve hot or at room temperature.
The fire brings out all the juices and delicious sweetness and they’re great in a salad with crumbled cheese, toasted nuts and rocket or cured meats.
Grilled peaches with feta and mint on toast
Toast some sliced sourdough and drizzle with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, crumble over some feta cheese and top with grilled peaches which have cooled to room temperature, plus some torn mint leaves, a bit of black pepper and some more olive oil. The sweet peaches are delicious with the salty cheese and fresh mint.
Grilled Peaches with whipped fromage blanc, mint and toasted hazelnuts
Whip together 150g cream cheese, 100g double cream, 150g yoghurt and 75g sugar with an electric whisk until it starts to thicken (it takes a while) then add the juice of half a lemon and whip for a few more minutes. Serve this sweet cream with warm grilled peaches, a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts and some torn mint leaves. The sweet cheese is a bit like a cheesecake topping and is so delicious with the juicy peaces and the crunchy toasted nuts.