…“Moving to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…
Moving to the country I’m gonna eat a lot of peaches…
…Millions of peaches, peaches for free…”
Well maybe not free, but it is Ontario Peach Season, and all along the QEW, you can see them ripening on the trees. There is nothing that screams summer as biting into a juicy peach while BBQ’ing in the backyard. These brightly colored orbs, not unlike that of a summer sunset, are a marvel to behold when ripe and juicy. Just by looking at them one knows that beneath the fuzziness of the outer skin, there must lie the sweetest of all fruit.
Emanating originally from China, wild Chinese peaches traveled widely and developed into many strains. The Romans called the peaches “Persian Apples” naming them after the country that introduced peaches to the West. France took peaches, in all their varieties, to its heart, and gave the fruit feminine names, an association of peaches and the female that continues to this day, most likely based on beauty. Among the named varieties were Belle de Vitry, Belle de Chevreuse and Téton de Vénus or ‘nipple of Venus’. Although the Chinese had pioneered growing espaliered peaches, the French discovered this method independently, and the growers in Montreuil, a Paris suburb, claimed this as their secret to producing the best peaches. Louis XIV loved peaches so much that he awarded a pension to the man who provided him with peaches from Montreuil. It was the Spaniards that brought them to Central America and cultivated them in Latin American regions, making their way up north over time.
Peaches do best in regions associated with cold winters and hot summers – Ontario! First peach trees were seen as early as the 1750’s…and as they say, the rest is history. Now peaches in Ontario are grown all over the Niagara escarpment. Ontario’s commercial fruit producers grow more than 450,900 tons of peaches annually on 25,294 ha of land. The total farm gate value is over $225 million.
“…Millions of peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free
Millions of peaches, peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free… Look out!”
Here are some peach recipes, hope you get the chance to enjoy them while they are in season. Remember to buy Local and Fresh – it makes all the difference.
Georges Bank Scallops & Grilled Ontario Peaches
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1 lemon, juice and zest, divided
3 Ontario Grilled peaches, washed, peeled and cubed
4 tbsp butter, chilled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
18 Georges Bank (Or any East Coast) scallops, large
Parmesan cheese, as desired
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat add 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, shallots and fennel; cook until soft and onions are translucent, about 3 minutes (do not brown). Add rice and toast for 1 minute.
- Add two ladles of simmering stock to rice and cook; stirring constantly (be sure to keep a strong simmer). When stock is almost absorbed continue to add more, about 1 to 2 ladles at a time, letting the stock be absorbed again before adding more. Cook until rice is tender and creamy in texture, about 15 to 18 minutes (you may have remaining stock – that’s okay).
- When rice is cooked, remove from heat and add half the lemon zest, peaches, butter and Parmesan; continuing to stir until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, with a clean paper towel pat the scallops dry and season with remaining lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Heat remaining oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the scallops and sear until preferred doneness, about three minutes per side. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the pan and add grilled peaches to warm through.
- Divide risotto evenly amongst 6 bowls, top with 3 scallops and spoon peach sauce from pan over scallops. Garnish with parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Hoisin Peach Glaze
- 6oz peach preserves or marmalade
- 8 oz Hoisin Sauce
- 4 oz Siriracha Hot Sauce or Sambal Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 lbs pork tenderloins
- 4 ripe peaches, pitted, cubed & pureed
- 4 ripe peaches, pitted and cut in 1/2
- Heat the grill to medium hot.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the preserves, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, hoisin, peach puree, pepper, & salt. Mix well to combine.
- Sprinkle the tenderloins with additional salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook about 10 minutes on each side before brushing the upturned side with the glaze. Continue cooking for another 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 5 minutes and brushing each upturned side with glaze every time, until the meat is cooked through. Move the pork to a cooler part of the grill if it starts to get too dark before it is cooked through.
- Place the peach halves on the grill, cut-side down, and grill 2 minutes. Turn, and brush the tops with the glaze. Grill 3 to 5 minutes more, until the peaches are soft and the cavities fill with juices. Transfer the cooked pork and peaches to a serving plate & serve immediately.
Peaches & Ice Wine
- 8 fresh unsprayed lavender heads, rinsed
- 1 unwaxed lemon, rind peeled from the fruit in long strips
- 8 firm, ripe peaches, peeled, stones removed, sliced
- 10oz Riesling Icewine, or similar sweet dessert wine, chilled
- Good Quality Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- 4 oz Organic Honey
1. Arrange the peach slices into the bottom of a large serving dish.
Sprinkle over the lavender heads and add the strips of lemon rind.
2. Pour over enough dessert wine to cover the peaches. Turn the
peach slices over a couple of times to coat them in the liquid, then
cover the dish and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least four
hours, or preferably overnight.
3. Brush the peach halves with honey – broil in over until the honey starts to caramelize. Reserving the Ice Wine juices
4. To serve, place 2 peach halves on plates, spoon a portion of the Ice Wine liquid unto each of six
serving bowls. Serve with a couple of dollops of vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!
2 firm-ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
3 cups chilled rosé wine (750-ml bottle)
2 cups chilled sparkling water
Stir together peaches, schnapps, and sugar in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved and let stand 1 hour.
Stir in wine, sparkling water, and some ice