A fruit bowl sat on my kitchen counter overflowing with ripe white peaches and I was feeling uninspired at best. Their sweet, sticky smell suggested that if not eaten quickly, it'd be too late. I couldn't risk losing them to the fruit flies.
So, I reached out to you all looking for ideas. Just a quick ask on Instagram - how are you guys cooking your peaches right now? Your response blew me away -- grilled peaches, roasted peaches, canned peaches, peach pie, peach jam, peach chutney, peach salad, peach kimchi (!) Your eagerness to share your ideas was really awesome. Some of you even took the time to write up your recipes to send to me. I couldn't have been more grateful. I have enough ways to use peaches than I could have ever hoped for, and can't wait to give all of them a try.
Today, I felt most inspired to grill. It is one of my favorite ways to eat peaches, and I feel like I seem to forget about it every summer. So thank you to those of you who reminded me. Most of you who suggested grilling also suggested some sort of dairy -- ricotta, ice cream, greek yogurt, whipped cream -- which seemed perfect (you don't have to twist my arm with dairy). I decided to try a whipped feta, which I thought would pair really nicely with the sweet peaches. It definitely did.
I hope this recipe inspires you as much as you all inspired me. Happy peach season.
grilled peaches with whipped feta
for the feta
2 ounces (60g) feta cheese
¼ cup cream
3 tablespoons whole milk
squeeze of lemon juice (about ½ tsp)
salt, if needed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup hazelnuts
2 peaches, halved + pitted
fennel pollen (optional)
toasted sourdough, for serving (optional)
To make the feta: crumble the feta into a blender. Add the cream and milk and blend until just smooth. Spoon the whipped feta into a bowl and season with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt, if needed. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the hazelnuts and pine nuts on opposite ends of a sheet pan. Toast until the pine nuts are fragrant and golden, about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove the pine nuts from the sheet pan and return the hazelnuts to the oven until also fragrant, about 5 - 6 minutes longer. Remove and let cool.
Preheat a grill (or grill pan) on medium-high heat. Brush the grill grate and lightly drizzle the halved peaches with olive oil. Once hot, add the peaches, cut-side down to the hot grill and reduce the flame to medium. Grill until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the peaches and sprinkle with flaky salt.
In a mortar and pestle, crush the pine nuts until coarsely ground (alternatively, you can finely chop with a knife). Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Spoon the whipped feta into two shallow bowls and top with the grilled peaches. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, hazelnuts, and fennel pollen (if desired). Enjoy as is, or serve with toasted sourdough bread for some extra heft.