July 26th, 2010

{recipe} Grilled Basil Honey Peaches (w Orange Honey Ricotta Sauce, If You Please)

Oh, hello. I kind of disappeared last week, huh? Didn’t mean to, but time is flying and I’m having a hard time keeping up (which, half of the time, means I’m insanely busy and, the other half, means I’m kicking around summer style).

Either way, I’m back. Bearing gifts. Delicious, sweet gifts.

I was recently asked to work on a piece about grilling. Being the savory cook—and carnivore—that I am, I immediately started thinking of grilled meat dishes. But, just as I began developing a recipe for turkish adana kebabs, I got word that I should focus on dessert.

Dessert. On the grill?

I know that many of you would be immediately flooded with ideas, but I was a bit stumped. All I could think of was grilled fruit which, to be honest, sounded a bit boring. Then I realized that the fear of serving a boring dessert was exactly what I needed to make something that would knock your socks off. So, grilled fruit it had to be. Exciting, delicious grilled fruit. I’d make it happen.

And so I did.

Basil and peaches are a gorgeous combo, especially in summer when both are at peak freshness. I used honey and a bit of orange juice to make a super light glaze that works beautifully with the natural peach juices that escape with the heat of the grill. Soft and juicy, sweet and bright, this dessert is summertime perfection. It’s delicious with vanilla ice cream (fairly healthy), my orange ricotta honey sauce (healthy) or plain (healthiest).

I also tried making these with plums. They were good but, since there’s not a lot of added sweetness, quite tart. My guess is that those of you who do not have a sweet tooth and would combine this with ice cream will enjoy the plum version. Otherwise, stick with peaches. And enjoy.

Grilled Honey Basil Peaches
serves 6-8
(can be served to kids 12+ mos)*

1 bunch fresh basil (roughly 2 cups loosely packed)
1 Tbsp canola oil (plus more for greasing grill)
4 Tbsp orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1 c honey*
8 ripe peaches, washed, cut in half & pit removed

1. In a food processor, combine basil, oil, orange juice and honey. Mix until the basil is very finely chopped.

2. Pour marinade over peaches and, if you have time, allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes or so. If you don’t have the time, skip to the next step.

3. Liberally grease your grill. Place peaches on the grill cut side down. Cook for 7 minutes or so, until they begin to soften and take on nice grill marks. Flip. Grill for another 7 minutes. Peaches should be very soft and beginning to ooze their natural juice. If your peaches weren’t very ripe to begin with, you may need to grill longer. Serve with Orange Honey Ricotta Sauce (see recipe below), yogurt or ice cream.

*Note: Babies under 12 months should not eat honey due to the risk of botulism.

Orange Honey Ricotta Sauce
(can be served to kids 12+ mos)*

1 c whole or skim milk ricotta cheese, fresh if possible
juice of 1 orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp honey*

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Liberally coat the bottom of a plate with sauce and add Honey Basil Grilled Peaches on top or simply drizzle sauce over the peaches.

*Note: Babies under 12 months should not eat honey due to the risk of botulism.

2 Responses

  1. Your grilled Honey Basil Peaches sound amazing. I would probably dip mine in some vanilla yogurt.
    Here is my contribution to this weeks Summer Fest:
    Peach Pie Enchiladas
    http://su.pr/2GQnfW

  2. Melissa says:

    I love this recipe. I can never get enough basil… can’t wait to try it out.

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