There’s nothing quite like the summer experience of biting into a fresh peach that is so perfectly ripe the juices run down your arm when you bite into it. But unless you live near an orchard, finding peaches at the perfect ripeness for fresh eating can be tricky. The fruit is harvested before it is fully ripe so it doesn’t get squished on its way to the store. But never fear - the grill is here!
Grilling does something magical to not-quite-ripe peaches. (You can use a grill pan on the stove if you don’t have a grill.) It brings out the juices and enhances the natural sugars so you get intense peach flavor. The heat softens the fruit, so for grilling, a slightly underripe peach is best. It should smell “peachy” and the flesh should give just a little when lightly pressed.
Fruit with bruises and soft spots are not good candidates for the grill. A soft, fully ripe peach would turn to mush from the heat of the grill. And a peach that is as hard as a baseball isn’t mature enough to give you the luscious flavor and texture you deserve.
If you’re a purist or just beginning your peach grilling journey, keep it simple.
Brush the grill cooking grates clean.
Cut peaches in half and remove the pits.
Lightly brush the fruit with olive, canola or nut oil. (Untoasted walnut oil is yummy!) This will keep the fruit moist and prevent sticking to the cooking grate. Rub with a bit of cinnamon sugar if you like to spice things up, but the naked version is pretty darn tasty.
Place the peach halves, cut side down, directly on the cooking grate for a few minutes over a medium-low flame. Sugars, natural or otherwise, can burn quickly, so a gentle low heat is best.
The end result is a sweet, slightly caramelized, soft, warm peach. Delicious!
Ready to spread your wings and grill peaches for salads, entrées and desserts? The blue sky is the limit!
Take it easy - it’s summer! Kick back with an adult beverage to start you on your peach grilling adventures!
Grilled peaches are an unexpected centerpiece in summer salads. Whether served as a side salad or a meal in itself, a bowlful of freshness will delight the tastebuds. Match grilled peaches with your favorite greens or let them shine as the main event.
A lovely blend of sweet and savory, this grilled peach salad is simple and elegant. The sweet honey and balsamic dressing brightens the flavors.
Another summer favorite, avocados are delicious when grilled. Their texture is a perfect partner to soft and sweet grilled peaches. This salad is tossed simply with fresh greens.
Arugula provides a bit of spark to complement the grilled peaches piled atop with creamy goat cheese and prosciutto. With just a few ingredients, each is allowed to shine.
Such a beautiful salad with worth a bit of preparation. Combine big chunks of grilled peaches with fresh mozzarella, topped with homemade mint and basil pesto and pine nuts for an impressive addition to your table.
Sweet enough to take a starring role and ready for their close up, grilled fresh peaches make your main dish special. They are a sweet accent to meats and play nicely with savory herbs such as thyme and basil. Pair peaches with beef, pork or poultry.
Thin slices of country ham wrap fresh peach wedges for a salty-sweet dish that pleases on so many levels! Simple to prepare with a sorgum syrup glaze, this will become a new summer favorite. The grilled peaches rest on a bed of frisée as a nice counter point to the salt and sweet.
For a salad that is a meal in itself on a summer evening, this recipe is a winner. The homemade dressing is rich with blue cheese and sour cream, and the blend of fresh salad greens and herbs make a heavenly bed for the grilled New York Strip and peaches.
No fancy prep or exotic ingredients - just pork tenderloin, herbs and fresh peaches on the grill, allowing their natural flavors to shine. Use a meat thermometer for the pork to make sure it is thoroughly cooked and stay close to the peaches - they need just a minute or two on the grill.
Their natural sweetness ranks grilled peaches high on the Dessert Yum Continuum. (The DYC is now an official thing!) Prepare them simply for a quick and easy summer dessert, or go for broke with cake, ice cream or mascarpone.
Here is an appealing and delicious dessert that is much easier to prepare than it looks! The "crust" is granola! The recipe makes two servings for an intimate dinner, but you can easily make more if you have a tableful of guests.
This recipe lets grilled peaches be the sweet focus of an easy-to-prepare dessert. The only added sweetener is a tiny touch of honey, so everyone can enjoy an almond-topped treat.