Dallas County Horticultural Assistant, Jeff Raska, left us dreaming about summer peaches with his brilliant and motivating talk at Raincatcher’s Garden.
Following a very informative and entertaining peach primer, we savored every morsel of a lip-smacking, flavorful menu filled with a wide range of sensual pleasures. We left having experienced a true moment of “peach fever”. Summer has arrived…the peaches have spoken!
1 clove garlic
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups arugula
Salt and Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 baguette, sliced 3/8 inch thick
1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 soft small peaches, peeled, halved, pitted, and cut into wedges ¼ inch thick
Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
To make the pesto:
Combine the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil and arugula and continue to pulse until the mixture is evenly moist and spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the bruschetta:
Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. When the fire is ready, paint each bread slice on both sides with oil. Arrange the bread on the grill rack and toast, turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
When the bread slices are ready, let them cool enough to handle, then rub the smashed garlic cloves on both sides of each slice. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the pesto on one side of each bread slice. Top each slice with some of the caramelized onion, 1 or 2 peach slices, a little Parmesan, and a sprinkle of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Mustard-Peach Glazed Chicken Breasts
4 boneless chicken breast halves, without skin
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
⅔ cup peach preserves
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard (or Creole mustard)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar)
Pinch dried thyme
Heat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
Wash chicken and pat dry. Put chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently just to even out the thickness.
Place the chicken in the prepared baking pan. Brush chicken with a little melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients; stir to blend well.
Coat chicken thoroughly with the glaze; bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until golden brown and cooked through. If chicken breasts are quite thick, they might take a little longer. The juices should run clear when pricked with a fork.
Yield: 4 servings
6 soft peaches (about 2 ½ pounds), peeled, pitted and quartered
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon champagne or golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ to ¾ cup water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Sliced almonds (for garnish, optional)
In a food processor, combine peaches, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and ½ cup
water and pulse until coarsely pureed. Thin with remaining ¼ cup water if needed for a good
consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill thoroughly.
Just before serving, taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in cilantro or parsley. Ladle into bowls,
drizzle each serving with olive oil, and garnish with sliced almonds.
Yield: Make about 6 cups
Pictures by Linda and Starla