As the weather heats up there is nothing like a fresh, juicy peach. Just in time for summer a new cookbook comes out that celebrates this delicious fruit in all its glory. Just Peachy by Belinda Smith-Sullivan (Gibbs-Smith/May 2019) contains peach-inspired recipes allowing home cooks to enjoy this warm, summery fruit all year long.
Just Peachy contains 70 recipes that cover a wide-range of dishes that include peaches. Recipes range from breads, breakfasts, appetizers, entrees and desserts to sauces, preserves, condiments and drinks, all beautifully photographed. Chef Belinda has included facts about peaches, information on growing and growers, festivals, a list of all peach varietals and how to use them, and the history of peaches.
“My love for peaches goes way back, when I spent summers in Charleston, Mississippi on my grandparent’s farm,” says Chef Belinda. “My grandfather was a cotton sharecropper, like all the other farmers around him. Since no one had much of anything, bartering was a way of life with crops you had an abundance of. Neighbors took care of neighbors, and our neighbors delivered bushels of peaches to our doorstep throughout the summer. I would spend hours on the front porch peeling and slicing peaches, getting them ready to be canned and made into preserves or peach brandy. I was then, and am now still, fascinated by the process and developed a deep love for peaches.”
Peaches have customarily been used in desserts or enjoyed as a juicy summer treat. The reality is that the peach is a very versatile fruit, lending itself easily to savory applications, especially when paired with meats like chicken, pork, fish, and lamb. It is not uncommon in Middle Eastern cultures, and indeed cultures around the world, to find peaches applied plentifully to dishes to enhance and awaken the flavors of some of their most revered culinary offerings, such as chutney in India, semifreddo in Portugal, and Kaiserschmarrn in Austria.
Chef Belinda’s recipes in Just Peachy range from the sweet to the savory and include:
– Buttermilk Peach Waffles
– Hot Curried Peaches
– Mascarpone Prosciutto Peach Crostini
– Peach and Tomato Gazpacho
– Peach-Pistachio Chicken Salad
– Peach-Sweet Potato Casserole
– Blackened Cod Tacos with Peach Salsa
– Herb-Crusted Peach Mustard Pork Tenderloin
– Berbere Flat Iron Steak with Honey Grilled Peaches
– Old-Fashioned Peach Pie
– Peach Bread Pudding with Rum Peach Coulis
– Peach Upside-Down Cake
– Peachy Strawberry-Kiwi Sangria
– Granddad’s Easy Homemade Peach Brandy