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Peach Power

Aug/06/2023 / by Bindu Gopal Rao

This versatile fruit can take a dish from drab to fab

Two plates of grilled peaches with ice cream
Photo via Shutterstock

Peaches add a dash of freshness and a mouthful of summer to a variety of dishes and are packed with health benefits. “The peach flesh is sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peach typically has an acidic tang coupled with a floral taste which balances flavors while cooking,” says Kaushik Mishra, executive chef, Taj West End, Bengaluru.

Here are five ways to use peaches in your summer menu.

Grill Peaches 

Grilling peaches adds a wonderful dimension to the flavor profile of the fruit. “Make a marination of mashed peach with yoghurt, garam masala, spices, Kashmiri red chili powder and seasoning to coat on jumbo prawns. Cook these in skewers in a tandoor or grill,” says Mishra. The chef also suggests a grilled peach and avocado salad tossed in a blue cheese dressing with lettuce, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes.

Toss Peaches Into Savory Salads

Amp your summer salad game by adding grilled peach halves to arugula or mixed greens. Add crumbled feta or goat cheese, toasted almonds, and a drizzle of honey-balsamic vinaigrette for an attractive bowl of freshness.

Krishna Tiwari, executive chef, Kyma, says, “Steamed salmon peach and fennel is a light and refreshing dish with an unexpected combination of ingredients—fennel, peach, and salmon.”

Anil Kumar Dahiya, head chef, Skyview by Empyrean, Jammu adds, “peaches are very commonly used in many cuisines, we can make something cold and hot, such as Chilled Peach Soup with fresh goat Cheese, sweet and tangy summer soup by marinating fresh peaches overnight with honey, lemon and olive oil and then pureeing the mixture and serve in a bowl. Warm grilled peach and arugula salad, tangy dressing made with apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger, and garlic juice, is the perfect finishing touch for this peach arugula salad topped with crumbled feta cheese.”

Freeze The Peach

Peel, pit, and freeze the peaches. “Then you can have it all through the year, rather than having purees or pulps which contain a lot of preservatives,” says Rollin Lasrado, executive chef, Smoke House Deli, west region.

Mix Peaches Into Cocktails

Use peaches in your favorite summer cocktails, such as a white wine sangria with assorted summer fruits like mangoes, berries, and lemon. “A peach-based sorbet can be used to make an adult version of an ice cream float. For instance, a negroni sbalgiato with peach and lime sorbet is just one of the ways to serve it at dinner parties,” says Lasrado.

Turn Peaches Into Condiments

Use fresh peaches to make some interesting condiments, relishes, and preserves. Ravi Ranjan, corporate chef, Ditas, says, “Create an elegant appetizer by topping toasted baguette slices with a layer of creamy goat cheese, thinly sliced prosciutto, and peach chutney. The peach chutney can be made by combining diced peaches, minced red onion, a splash of balsamic vinegar, honey, and fresh basil.” Ranjan also suggests making a peach glaze by blending fresh peaches, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of brown sugar. Then brush the glaze over salmon fillets and bake or grill.  

More Tips To Cook With Peaches

Cook raspberry, peach and basil leaf into a compote and layer alternatively with Victoria sponge, stewed peaches, and crème anglaise creating a magical mélange of flavors.

Elevate your risotto game by incorporating diced peaches into the dish. The natural sweetness of the peaches complements the creamy richness of the risotto.

Instead of apples, caramelize peach slices with butter, sugar, and a hint of cinnamon in a skillet for the French dessert, tarte tatin.