44 Ways to Use Local Peaches in Your Local Calender

August 21, 2009 at 9:41 am

Rob Gardner

Local food tastes better because farmers can pick their food at the right times (or as we like to say here, the ripe times).  Local food tastes better because farmers are not looking for shipability and box counts.  And sometimes local food tastes better just because we are lucky.  We are lucky for sure that our local food zone, the Big Ten Conference that sucks mostly in football, produces some of the best food.  Our local food tastes better because of our local peaches. 

This is it.  Local peach season.  When you find a market using the Beet’s locator* you will find some local peaches.  We can eat our peaches over the sink, sucking on the pit long afterward, but peaches lend themselves to much culinary use.  The robust peach stands up to a host of heavy flavors, which is why it used to be there in half, with the toast, on the plate of diner fried chicken.  As shown below, it is typical in French cooking, to roast duck with peaches.  Here then, are forty-four ways to use those peaches including with roast duck:

Grilled, alongside whatever else is on the barbie; chopped with jalepeno and red onion as a salsa; roasted with duck; baked with thick pork chops; dried overnight in your oven or using a food dehydrator, so you have a local fruit to give to the kids later on; not quite dried but ready for the trail when made into fruit leather; peach princess pudding; peach pie; peach cobbler, peach kuchen;  canned so that you make a melba to remember or a local diet plate; canned with spices for a winter relish (spiced peaches); mixed with even more spices for a chutney; peach pancakes; with bacon, an heirloom tomato, and rocket (arugula) for a PBTA; roasted, stuffed with fresh ricotta and drizzled with honey; pureed for Bellini’s; cold peach soup; peach ice cream, peach sorbet, peach granita (or peach ice); peach glazed BBQ ribs; peach butter if you cook it down a lot or peach jam which is cooked down but not quite; a salad with roasted pecans and goat cheese; mixed with summer berries for a fruit salad; fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of good balsamic; Italian peach wedding cookies; champagne poached peaches; stewed; stuffed into french toast; peach kugel; dried for fried pies; peach fried rice; with prosciutto or raw country ham; threaded with pork tenderloin and grilled as kebobs; brandied peaches; peach dumplings; peach donuts; peach muffins; upside down cake or do we call it (peach tarte tartin?); mixed into cottage cheese (not Breakstone); peaches and cream

Much else on the local calendar beyond peaches.

Learn all you can learn about peppers, Saturday, at the Botanic Gardens.

The beer lineup is amazing for tomorrow’s Seven Generation’s Ahead Microbrew Review in Oak Park; what better way to support a great cause.

It’s great to help out a farmer in need, especially when helping out gets you a fantastic repast.  Ronnie “Suburban” Kaplan lets us know about this event for Illinois farmer Tracey Vowels on Sunday.

Our pals at Mado are moving over to Webster Wine Bar for a special competitive dinner this Sunday night.

If you are a veteran of Re-Thinking Soup at Hull House you can say, “hey I know Whitehouse Chef Sam Kass.”  And if you can make it there this Tuesday, 8/25, you can say, “hey I met Josh Viertel, President of Slow Food USA.”

 Not too many more days until the  Eat-in at Daley Plaza with Slow Food Chicago for better school lunches.  It’s next Wednesday, August 26.

Before hitting the Eat-In, you can learn about heirloom tomatoes at Green City Market.

Veggie bingo at the Hideout to finish the day on Wednesday.

Cork and Crayons, the benefit for Purple Asparagus is on August 30

Tomatofest is set for September 10, but I bet you are already knee deep in fancy BLT’s.

Local Beet’s Farm dinner is September 20.

Last, I stopped into my Caputo’s on Harlem in Elmwood Park this week, and I can tell you that local food is more accessible and affordable as ever.

Anything else?

*Less chance to find local peaches in Wisconsin



  1. Tana Butler says:

    I got one for you: grilled cheese sandwiches with peaches. I use sourdough, a smoky cheese (Bravo Farms Chipotle Cheddar), basil, mayonnaise, and a good sliced peach.

    One of the best sandwiches EVER.

    Also: sliced peaches on vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Toasted nuts optional.

    Try the grilled cheese.

  2. Sharon Schmuhl says:

    As a third generation peach grower, there is nothing better than fresh picked peaches with blueberries. Nothing!

  3. Melissa Graham says:

    Instead of crackers with Prairie Fruits Farm’s Angel Food. Pureed in Basil-Peach Cocktail with Koval’s grain liquor (Thanks Rob). Roasted with my honey-sweetened granola on top with a bit of Blue Marble cream on the side.

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