Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen Wand

Peaches and Basil

Yesterday there were still fresh peaches at the local farmers market! Reason enough to share this quick combination, great for ice cream, cheesecake, vanilla pudding, panna cotta, waffles, pancakes and salads just to name a few.

Basil and citrus fruits go well together. Here is a basil and lemon glaze on a nectarine pie from several years ago. That will take a little longer to prepare but yummy. This mixture comes together in five minutes and then sits in the fridge to marinate. A bright and fresh flavour combination to enjoy.

Some of the energies connected to basil are abundance, luck, harmony, prosperity, and protection. Peaches are about strengthening the giving and receiving of love. In China that connection includes health, happiness and wisdom.

Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandYou will need:

2 peaches

1 Tbsp. honey

juice of one orange

a small handful of fresh basil

Balsamic vinegar

Taking a moment to center yourself  before commencing a new project is always a good idea. It gives time to silence the self talk that distracts your attention and allows gratitude to fill your space. Take a few deep breaths, hold a moment and then release. The more the air can be expelled, the deeper the next intake of air can be. Let your shoulders relax and drop. Wash your hands and begin.

This is not something you need to do but I always find it lovely to have bottles of lemon and orange rinds in sugar in the fridge. I can pull from when I would like to perk up the flavour a little. If the rind is being saved though it is good to zest before juicing.Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandCombine the orange juice, honey and finely chopped basil in a small bowl. White or brown sugars are possible substitutes. The intention is to draw out the moisture in the peaches as they “cure” in the fridge.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit before slicing into wedges and placing in a dish. Pour the basil mixture over the peaches. Cover and store in the fridge for several hours, basting once or twice with the increasing liquid.Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandIt is also possible to puree the  liquid mixture with a magic bullet or hand blender if you prefer less texture from the basil when serving.

To serve, transfer to individual dishes, drizzle with a SMALL amount of Balsamic vinegar and serve alone or with one of the options mentioned above. Please start with a small amount of Balsamic as it can easy overpower all the other flavours. It is always possible to add more later.Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandEach year towards the end of summer, I generally teach a Cooking with Herbs or Honey, Olive Oil and Vinegar class. The class members get to nibble their way through various dishes from appetizers to dessert as well as make incense and infuse oils. The menu changes each year and many students have returned to see what’s new.

A few years ago I brought several varieties of Balsamic vinegar to go with cheesecake. It is a traditional finish to Panna Cotta and everyone got to try as many varieties as they wanted. There was chocolate, and vanilla, traditional, and blackberry. The number one choice has always been traditional. It is fun to experiment but not a requirement in way.Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandWhere I grew up, peaches are eaten with the skins on. That is probably why I have always preferred nectarines. On a trip to the Okanagan, another fruit growing valley in B.C., it was noted that I was a coast girl as “no one from here would eat peaches with the skin on“.

It is all a matter of where you grew up. The picture shows both options and the choice is obviously yours. The skins give more colour and skins off give less fuzz in the mouth. If the choice is to take the skins off, cut in sections first and the thinner strips will pull off whole on ripe fruit. Pull gently and avoid cutting with your fingernails.Peaches and Basil from My Kitchen WandPeaches and Basil from My Kitchen Wand

Posted in Dessert, Frozen Treats, Mabon/Autumn Equinox.