by Julie Christensen
Consider your favorite foods of summer and peaches are likely to top the list. These fragrant, sweet fruits are available year-round, thanks to refrigerated shipping, but those peaches in the stores in January are only a pale shadow of local summer peaches in all their glory.
Peach season typically falls between late summer to early fall, depending on your region and climate. Buy a box or two of peaches from a farmer’s market or roadside stand when they’re in season and eat them with abandon. Once you’ve had your fill of peach ice cream, peach pie or peaches and cream, why not try peaches on the grill? Grilling amplifies their delectable sweetness, adding a rich smoky flavor and creamy texture.
If you’ve never tried grilling peaches before, don’t worry. The process is simple. A grill basket makes it even simpler. Read on to learn about the art of grilling peaches.
Choosing peaches for grilling
Grilling softens and cooks peaches so you want to start with a peach that’s slightly firm. When choosing peaches, look for the following characteristics:
- Grown locally. When it comes to peaches, you’ll rarely find good flavor if they’ve been shipped from a distance. The reason is that peaches taste best when they’re left on the tree to ripen. Yet, in order to ship well, they must be picked green. Too often, these peaches never ripen fully and have little flavor or a mealy, unsatisfying texture.
- Fruity scent. A peach may have a gorgeous pinkish-red color, but lack flavor and juiciness. Color varies by variety and isn’t a good indicator of taste or ripeness. Instead, smell the peach. It should smell, well, like a peach. If it doesn’t, put it back.
- Slight give. Press the peach gently with one finger. It should give just slightly, without feeling mushy. To ripen peaches further, place them in a paper bag at room temperature.
For basic peach grilling, wash peaches and cut them in half. Remove the pits. Brush the peaches with a bit of melted butter and place the peaches in a grill basket or on a piece of aluminum foil. Grill them carefully for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they start to get soft. If you want grill marks, place the peaches, cut sides down, on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Watch them carefully, though, because their sugar burns easily.
More Grilled Peach Ideas
Visit the following links for more delectable grilled peach ideas:
Simple Grilled Peaches (Martha Stewart)
This basic recipe pairs grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream for a cool, summer treat.
Cinnamon Grilled Peaches (Food Network)
How about grilled peaches paired with a delicious cinnamon-brown sugar and rum glaze? Fabulous over ice cream or pound cake.
Grilled Peaches n’Berries (Taste of Home)
Berry season often coincides with peach season so why not pair the two for a tasty dessert?
Roast Pork Loin with Grilled Peaches and Honey Vinaigrette (Eats Well with Others)
Sweet meats like pork pair naturally with fruit, including peaches. This recipe takes a bit more work than a basic grilled peach recipe, but the result is well worth the effort.
This recipe calls for cooking the peaches in a saucepan to make a sauce. We suggest grilling the peaches for just a few minutes first to impart a sweet, smoky flavor. Refrigerate the sauce for up to two weeks and brush it on chicken or pork chops.
Grilled Peach Salad (Food Network)
Yummy! Paula Deen combines grilled peaches, mixed greens, pecans and feta cheese with a light Dijon vinaigrette for a quick, but elegant, summer salad. Serve it as a side dish or add chopped grilled chicken for a complete meal.Julie Christensen learned about gardening on her grandfather’s farm and mother’s vegetable garden in southern Idaho. Today, she lives and gardens on the high plains of Colorado. When she’s not digging in the dirt, Julie writes about food, education, parenting and gardening.