Intrepid Food Exploration

Intrepid Food Exploration

Everything's Peachy: Grilled Peach Salad, Peach and Ginger Chutney, Sassy Peach and Plum Salad

DSC03897 (1).jpg

When the peaches arrive, nearly bursting from their velvety suits, it is cause for celebration. I mark my calendar every summer for peach season and always intend to stop by an orchard where visitors are invited to pick their own peaches. I imagine strolling beneath the leafy canopy and plucking the plump fruits, their perfume provoking “pick me!”

Who can resist a fresh peach, eaten out of hand with a stack of napkins? It’s a close-your-eyes-and-savor-this-moment experience. 

For me, the U-Pick peach event is still just a concept near the top of my to-do list. I do gather more than my share at farmers markets where crates of golden and white peaches arrive as the mercury starts to spike. I bring them home by the dozen, some for snacking and some for menu planning.

This time I decided to add some sizzle to accent the sweet, making a quick and company-worthy lunch salad. I grilled quartered peaches and arranged them with creamy Burrata and silky prosciutto atop a bed of lightly dressed arugula. With a hunk of bread, you have dinner in a hurry. 

Peach chutney is a quick simmered delicacy that pairs well with grilled summer fare. I love it with pork tenderloin, chicken, or shrimp. Make a big batch to share, packing it in mason jars for a sweet summer gift.

Another favorite peach dish is a sassy stone fruit salad, featuring sliced peaches and plums dressed in a spicy lime vinaigrette. Serve it on the side with grilled pork or fish or save it for dessert as a topping for peach or vanilla ice cream.

Though peach season will not last forever, there is no end to their delicious enjoyment. Be sure to pick a peck, whether straight from the tree or from your local market. The sweet perfume will remain.

Check your local farm stand or area orchards for prime peach enjoyment. Additional ‘U-Pick’ information is available at www.pickyourown.org

April Hamilton, the author of Counter Intelligence The Best of April’s Kitchen, is a happy transplant from West Virginia who now lives, cooks, and eats in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband and youngest daughter. She blogs about her food experiences at aprilskitchencounter.com and is counting down the days until she can pick peaches at Plantation Pecan in Waterproof, LA.

Grilled Peach Salad

This combination of flavors and textures makes for a memorable summer salad. Make a larger quantity and it becomes a gorgeous centerpiece for asummer buffet. Makes 2 servings


  • 2 firm-ripe peaches, pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 handfuls fresh arugula or other salad greens
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 small balls of Burrata, each cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, really just a drizzle (use your best one here)


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Brush the cut sides of the peaches with the vegetable oil.
  3. Grill the peaches for a few minutes on each side until just tender and warmed through.
  4. Toss the arugula with the olive oil in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again and transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Arrange the prosciutto, Burrata, and grilled peaches over the greens.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic vinegar and serve.


Peach and Ginger Chutney

Serve with grilled shrimp, chicken or pork. Makes about 2 cups.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 medium peaches, peeled and chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion and peppers and saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, chile flakes and curry powder, and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the orange juice, honey, vinegar, and peaches. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool. Chill in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Peach and Plum Salad

Side dish, salsa, or sassy dessert--you choose! Makes 4 servings


  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 peaches, pitted and cut into 10 wedges
  • 3 plums, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
  • Pinch of coarse salt and pepper


  1. Whisk together the vinegar, honey cilantro, olive oil, lime zest and juice, jalapeno, and cinnamon.
  2. Add the fruit wedges and stir gently. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Season with a pinch of coarse salt and pepper.
  4. Serve as desired.