Chow Town

Missouri peaches are in season so get grilling

Updated: 2013-07-24T20:40:23Z

By JUDITH FERTIG

Fresh-picked peaches from your garden or the farmer’s market and the heat of the grill can be a fabulous combination. Grilling fruit intensifies its flavor and sweetness.

The look of grilled fruit is appealing, too, with deep brown grill marks that indicate caramelization plus a rustic appearance.

Try to get the find the ripest Midwestern regional peach varieties, like Red Haven, Glow Haven, Briscoe or Summer Pearl.

Herbs from your garden can also add an easy “wow factor” to simple grilled foods, such as hamburgers, chicken, steaks, fish fillets, shellfish, pork tenderloin or chops and peaches.

Our Grilled Peaches with Lemon Balm Gremolata show just how easy it is to go from garden to grill, simply and deliciously.

You simply halve and pit the peaches, then grill then cut-side down right on the grill grates. The natural sugars in the peaches help create delicious grill marks and a flavor like toasted marshmallows.

Although the flavor is the best attribute of this recipe, second place goes to ease of preparation. Coming in third would be its colorful yet easygoing appearance. And maybe I shouldn’t even mention that it’s healthy. No fat, all fresh.

Of course, a little homemade ice cream on top would not go amiss …

Grilled Peaches with Lemon Balm Gremolata

This recipe is very simple, yet full of flavor. A traditional gremolata has parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, but this is a sweeter version delicious with fruit. If you don’t have lemon balm in your garden, substitute mint and add more lemon zest.

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup packed lemon balm leaves

1 tablespoon packed mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

4 peaches, halved and pitted

Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.

To prepare the Lemond Balm Gremolata: On a cutting board, chop the lemon balm, mint, and lemon zest together until very fine. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the leaves and chop again. Set aside in a small bowl.

Place the peach halves cut side down on the grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until the peaches are tender and blistered.

To serve, place 2 peach halves in each bowl and sprinkle the Lemon Balm Gremolata over all.

Source: Adapted from “The Gardener and the Grill” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig.

Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig lives, cooks, bakes, grills and writes in Overland Park, Kan. She is the author of “Heartland: The Cookbook” and “I Love Cinnamon Rolls,” and the co-author of “The Gardener and the Grill” and the IACP award winning “The Back in the Swing Cookbook.”

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