Could it be possible that we’ve nearly reached the end of summer and I have yet to share a single recipe involving peaches?! I guess I’ve been too busy eating them straight out of hand or slicing them over homemade granola to notice my mishap.
Well here’s an interesting one for you, a simple but unique peach dessert. It started a few years ago when my friend Tami Parr was writing her amazing book “Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest”. (Look at the cover, it will make you long for great cheese!) She asked me to develop a dessert recipe, one that would incorporate a lovely local cheese called Rivers Edge chèvre. I’ve always enjoyed cheese courses with dried fruit or chutney as an accompaniment, so naturally I planned on a fruit dessert. After a bit of tinkering, I came up with something super simple: roasted peaches topped with a dollop of chèvre, a drizzle of honey, a touch of fresh thyme, and toasted almonds. The cheese softens under the warmth of the peaches, creating a sweet-and-savory, comforting yet sophisticated dessert.
As you choose peaches for this recipe, look for large, heavy peaches, preferably a freestone variety. Freestone peaches separate from their stone quite easily when you cut into them as opposed to the aptly named clingstone peaches, which put up more of a fight. And don’t worry if you don’t have access to Rivers Edge chèvre; I tested the recipe with several types of soft, creamy goat cheeses and they all worked well.
I tend to gravitate toward fruit desserts, especially ones that aren’t super sweet. This one teeters on such a fine line between sweet and savory, I’d even suggest that you could incorporate it into a salad. Slice the peaches after roasting them, lay them on top of a bed of lightly dressed greens–arugula with olive oil and lemon juice would be perfect–then top with the remaining ingredients. Cheese course? Salad? Dessert? Take your pick!