Peaches are the stars of August. It’s impossible to not find the sweet juicy fruit this time of year. They flood farm stands and CSAs, and while biting into a dripping peach is lovely there are plenty of other ways to capitalize on the peak of peach season.
Chef Ryan Keough of Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas has been scooping them up from farmers throughout New York and New Jersey and using them to enhance Italian classic dishes. Think peaches, grilled and placed on top of a warm crostini with mascarpone cheese, honey and fresh basil, crostata with peaches tossed with brown sugar, spices and brandy baking in a puff pastry crust and served with a house made salted caramel and vanilla gelato and sangria with a mix of white peach, peach schnapps and pinot grigio served over ice with fresh peaches.
“I develop dishes with the season in mind and peaches are perfect to highlight this month,” Keough said.
By grilling or roasting the peaches, Keough said the sugars in the fruit deepen enhancing the taste. You’re going to want to balance out that flavor, as he did with the mascarpone in the bruschetta or the spices in the crostata. The dishes will melt in your mouth.
Leave peaches out on a counter for a day if they aren’t yet ripe, but remember to be careful when handling the fruit as they bruise easily.
Grilled Peach Bruschetta Recipe
Recipe by Chef Ryan Keough of Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
1 Loaf Ciabatta Bread, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
1/2 cup Mascarpone Cheese
6 Tbsp of Basil (Chiffonade)
3 Tbsp of Honey
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Brush olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until lightly charred on both sides.
Brush peach halves with oil. Grill until lightly charred, about 4-5 minutes. Set peaches aside and cool, then slice peaches.
Spread a layer of mascarpone cheese over each slice of ciabatta bread and top with sliced cut lengthwise grilled peaches.
Garnish with basil and honey, finish with flaky salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Pair with a favorite wine.