by Heather Johansen
Finally, everyone’s favourite summer fruits have arrived! Peaches and apricots are in abundance at Kingsland right now. These beautiful little stone fruits make for a perfect grab-and-go snack just eaten out of hand. But how can you make a peach, apricot or plum taste every better? Grill it! Grilling fruit seems strange but doing so actually brings out more of its natural sweetness and juiciness, making it irresistible. You can pair grilled fruits with main dishes (ex: Chicken & peaches, pork & plums, tofu & pineapple) but my favourite way to eat them is dessert. Vanilla ice cream or yogurt paired with juicy grilled peaches with a sprinkling of toasted nuts … such a simple preparation but it’s so satisfying.
Keeping that snack in mind, I decided to jazz it up a little bit with this recipe. This makes for a nice light snack, hors d’oeuvre for a summer party or even dessert. The dish comes together very quickly and its components can be prepared ahead of time. Grill the peaches while you grill your meats & vegetables so they will be ready for a sweet post-meal treat.
Grilled Peaches with Honey-Herb Ricotta
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 2 peaches or 4 apricots
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp fresh mint or thyme leaves, finely chopped
- Thick seed crackers or toasted/grilled bread, for serving
Heat a small, dry skillet on medium heat. Add pine nuts to the skillet until slightly toasted. This should only take 1-2 minutes. Pine nuts burn very quickly so keep stirring them and remove from heat as soon as they start to turn brown. Set aside to cool.
Cut the peaches in quarters (or halve the apricots), removing the pit. Place each piece on an oiled heated grill pan or barbecue grill. Grill for 1-2 minutes on each side, until charred and juicy. Remove and set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on to a hearty cracker or thinly sliced bread. Top with peach quarter/apricot half and garnish with pine nuts. Serve immediately (the moisture in the fruit & ricotta will soften the cracker, making it soggy if it sits too long). Alternatively, skip the bread or cracker all together and enjoy the fruit & ricotta in a bowl. Drizzle with additional honey, if desired.
To make this richer and more decadent, try substituting mascarpone cheese for the ricotta. Both are available at the Sylvan Star booth.