I'm sure we've all jumped the gun on peach season seeing those perfectly fuzzy fragrant bulbs sitting in our grocers produce section just screaming out to be bought. It's still a bit early in the season for peaches, so if you gave into the calling, you more than likely to end up with crunchy fructose deficient duds. But don't despair! Green peaches are actually delicious if you know what to do with them.
"What the hell would you do with a green peach, I mean that's like wilted lettuce isn't it?"
Technically if you're hoping for them to ripen in your fruit bowl, you'll be waiting a long time, since the sugar content of stone fruit does not increase once they are picked. What's more likely to happen is that they'll go from hard and dry to soft and mealy.
"So what do you do with them? Load them into a potato canon and shoot them at your neighbor's dog?"
Well, you could do that, but that's mean, and a good way to get your ass kicked, not to mention the fact that you'd be wasting a perfectly good peach. What you really have to do is shift your thinking a bit and treat it like a vegetable.
Think of it as a fragrant veggie that's somewhere between crisp and crunchy and refreshingly tart with a mellow aroma. They're especially good added to salads and make excellent pickles.
"Dude, you're a genius"
While I'd like to take credit for figuring this one out, I actually got the idea at some restaurant out in Cowra/Canowindra (NSW Australia) or thereabouts. The salad and dressing on the other-hand is a product of some daydreaming (after my anger with Fresh Direct subsided for charging me $4 for apricot sized green peaches).
I know the flavors are from all over the place, but it works. I like the way the intensely earthy sesame oil harmonizes with the barnyard notes of the goat cheese and the floral peachiness coming from the unripe stone fruit. Likewise, the creamy feta offsets the tartness of the green peaches nicely.
So what unconventional ways to rescue an ingredient have you found?
For dressing (enough to dress 2 side salads)
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Lightly dress the salad greens, toss to coat then plate. Dress the peach batons separately, tossing to coat then scatter over the greens. Sprinkle some feta on top then grind some black pepper. Serve immediately.
- Great with an off-dry Riesling.