I have had a lot of conversations recently about how to add fruit to one’s diet in my health coaching practice. This is a great time of year to talk about that because the fruit is starting to come in. My last trip to the farm market was a good indication that it is fruit season: watermelons (yes ripe watermelons already!), peaches, nectarines, apricots, strawberries and blueberries. What an incredible bounty!
The peaches are not exactly local, but they looked great, so I bought a small basket. I did not expect them to be the best peaches for eating out of hand – mostly because it is so early in the season…so I decided the safest thing to do was to cook them. It was still a little cool at night so cooked peaches sounded like a good idea. I like to cook peaches that are a little under-ripe so the texture turns soft and voluptuous with a little added sugar as a counterpoint to the fresh tartness of the under-ripe fruit. I often serve cooked stone fruit (plums, nectarines, and apricots) with grilled meat, they make a kind of sauce that marries well with the meat…this time I decided to marry the peaches with another old-time favorite – sauteed cabbage with sweet onions; served a little warmer than room temperature it went well with grilled, smoked sausage.
Peaches sauteed this way will also go very well served with a sweet biscuit and whipped cream as a dessert, drizzled with the syrup that erupts from the cooked peaches…I think I have another blog post idea…I love when that happens!
Caramelized Peaches with Cabbage and Sweet Onions
4 peaches on the firm side, washed, halved with pits removed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
small head cabbage (color of your choice) shredded or chopped
1 medium sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), diced
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Wash the peaches, cut them in half along their mid-line and remove their pits by using a paring knife or by running a spoon around the edges of the pit and prying gently until the flesh relinquishes its hold on the stone. Free-stone peaches are much easier to pit than cling peaches. Melt the butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan of your choice (for the record I hate non-stick cookware, find out why here). When the butter is melted and begins to bubble, dip the cut side of the peaches in the sugar and place in the skillet cut side down. When you start to smell the beautiful flowery aroma of peach essence (the smell of burnt sugar or scorched peaches would indicate that the heat was too high, lower the heat immediately or prepare to start again) turn them over and cook the skin side for a few minutes. Once the peaches are heated through remove them from the pan and reserve them and any liquid that is in the bottom of the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute them until they begin to caramelize, then add the cabbage. Saute the onions and the cabbage briefly then season with salt, black pepper, remaining sugar and vinegar. Return the peaches to the pan, reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook until the cabbage is soft, the peaches have released their liquor and the whole dish has the aroma of caramelized peaches and sweet onions. Can be served hot or room temperature, Enjoy!