The mania is already going strong, but we’ve got to make sure that everyone knows: peaches from Collins Family Orchards are here! Thousands of pounds of these peaches have been flying out of our produce department, with no sign of abating. Shelby, our produce manager, is striving to keep up with the high demand. “The Collins family grows beautiful, delicious peaches that people are excited about,” she said “We can’t seem to order enough of them!”
“Our goal is quality, not quantity.”
The Collins orchard is a fourth-generation family farm in the Yakima Valley whose goal is to grow the tastiest peaches using methods that are healthy for both the land and the farmworkers. Prioritizing quality over quantity, they thin their crop as much as needed, and use safe, organic pesticides and fertilizers.
Because the Collins’s care foremost about bringing delicious fruit to market, the peaches are picked from the tree when they ripen, not before. They’re therefore ready to eat right from the Co-op. If you’ve scored a big haul, you’re in luck—peaches are incredibly versatile, pairing well with an array of dishes from sweet to savory. See below for some recipe ideas from National Co-op Grocers!
6 cups roughly-chopped fresh peaches, pits removed
Pinch of ground cinnamon and/or ginger
2 to 4 tablespoons honey (adjust according to the sweetness of the peaches)
In a large, heavy-bottom pot, stir together the peaches, spices and honey. Cook over low-medium heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes, until the peaches begin to break down. Use an immersion blender to puree the peaches until smooth. (A regular blender can be used, blending the peaches in small batches. But be careful—the peach mixture will be very hot and sticky!) Cook the peach puree another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into mason jars or sturdy plastic containers, cover and refrigerate.
Spread peach butter on waffles, pancakes, toast, scones or biscuits to liven up your breakfast, or drizzle over a chunk of salty blue cheese on an appetizer platter. Add vanilla, mango or strawberries for more exotic flavor combinations. Peach butter will keep refrigerated for a few weeks.
Grilled peaches are amazingly delicious and are complemented in this quick and easy salad by the savoriness of goat cheese and Prosciutto. For a vegetarian version, simply skip the Prosciutto.
2 large ripe peaches, sliced into 8 wedges each
4 cups mixed greens, packed
1/2 pound thin sliced Prosciutto (or thinly sliced ham)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled (or pine nuts)
Dressing (see Note)
1 clove shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup orange juice
Zest from 1 orange
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a blender or food processor, combine the shallot, garlic, mustard, orange juice and zest, honey and red wine vinegar. Blend until smooth. With the blender on low speed, slowly add the olive oil until it is incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
2. Preheat the grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the peach slices with a little of the prepared dressing. Grill peaches on each side 2-3 minutes.
3. On four dinner plates, arrange 1 cup of greens on each plate. Place 2 ounces of prosciutto or ham decoratively around each plate along with 4 slices of grilled peaches. Sprinkle each salad with 1 tablespoon pistachios or pine nuts and 1 ounce of goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle each salad with about 2 tablespoons of the remaining dressing.
Tips & Notes
The dressing yields approximately one cup. About 1/2 cup is used in this recipe. Reserve the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for future use.
Date: Wednesday July 27, 2016
Category: Washington Food
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