When you want the perfect summer treat, reach for a peach

The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote, “With my whole body I taste these peaches.” I know exactly what he means. Peaches seem to satisfy all the senses, from the enticing red-gold blush and soft down of their flesh to their warm summer smell and juice dripping tart-sweetness. Even one’s hearing is stirred when they receive the welcome news that peaches are about to be served.

The peach season is at its peak now, with several varieties showing up at farmers’ markets, on restaurant menus and at your local supermarket: O’Henry (my favorite), Elegant Lady, Georgia Belle and white-fleshed Babcock. Once you get them home, all sorts of peach combinations come to mind. A sliced fresh peach with good vanilla ice cream creates the famous Peach Melba dessert. Coupled with blackberries in a peach cobbler or pie is a match made in heaven. Try kneading a firm but ripe diced peach into your challah dough for a very special Shabbat treat.

But why confine this luscious fruit to desserts when it can be made into a salad, salsa, smoothie and a zesty sauce for poultry or fish. If you are running out of ideas, nothing beats starting the day with few juicy peach slices served on top of your corn flakes.


Fresh Peach Salsa

Makes about 2 cups

4 ripe, yellow peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1⁄4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

juice of 1 lime

Combine peaches, onion, jalapeno, cilantro in a medium bowl. Drizzle lime juice over mixture and toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Peach and Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 8

4 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach

4 cups torn Boston lettuce

3 medium peaches, sliced

2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted

4 Tbs. crumbled blue cheese

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1⁄8 tsp. salt

dash pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

In a large salad bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey , mustard, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually whisk in oil until dressing thickens. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat.


Salmon with Peach Curry Sauce

Serves 4

4 Tbs. oil or butter

4 6-oz. salmon fillets

salt and pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 peaches, pitted and diced

1 tomato, chopped

1 Tbs. curry powder (or to taste)

1⁄4 tsp. ground turmeric

2 Tbs. flour

11⁄2 cups vegetable stock or water

2 Tbs. sour cream or plain yogurt

cilantro for garnish

In a large skillet heat 2 Tbs. oil or butter. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil to same skillet and heat.

Sauté the onion, celery and peaches until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato, curry powder, turmeric and flour. Cook about 2 minutes.

Add the stock or water, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until thickened. Stir in sour cream and stir until well blended. Taste for salt and pepper.

Return salmon to pan and cook over low heat about 4 minutes.

Serve, garnished with cilantro.

Louise Fiszer
is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected].