Peach and Ricotta Crostini

It might be fall, but I’m still obsessing over peaches, especially the ones I can grow in my own back yard! That’s right, we have a fabulous peach tree that grow giant peaches – like the kind you need to grab with two hands. Even though I massively hacked and pruned the tree earlier that year (like I thought nothing would grow back and we’d have this ugly stumpy looking tree), but it still branched out all over the place and we had peaches everywhere – even after C took half off at the start of their growing. We removed some so the others get more nutrients and grow bigger.

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So after having a refrigerator full of peaches, I thought why not do some sort of appetizer with them – I had some left over ricotta and we always have honey, so a super easy snack was born. 🙂

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Peach and Ricotta Crostini

Serves as many as you’d like

Ingredients

  • 1 long baguette
  • Part skim ricotta (it has more protein)
  • Fresh peaches
  • Honey
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Slice the baguette on a diagonal and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Toast baguette slices under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute or until toasted to desired toastiness.
  3. Slices peaches (can leave skins on or off if you prefer).
  4. Spread each toast with 1-2 T of ricotta.
  5. Arrange peach sliced on toast and drizzle with your choice of honey or balsamic vinegar. If you’re using vinegar, make sure to have the kind that is aged and really think. If it’s not already thick, you can place it in a pot on the stove over a simmer and reduce down to desired syrup consistency.

Eat and enjoy! Preferably with some wine.

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It’s my 4th summer in this house and each year I’m enjoying the fruit produced more and more – peaches, apples, and figs. After finishing the creation of the patio and fencing around it, I’m also enjoying the backyard more and more – when I’m out there, it really does feel like home. When everything is put away (a wind storm tore down our temporary pergola), I’ll post a video of the space – we have a waterfall too and the sound of falling water is just so relaxing!

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Cheers to the ending of summer and the beginning of fall!


Roasted Peach and Blackberry Salad

Is anyone else sad that summer is almost over? I know, technically not until later September, but Labor Day really signifies the end for many of us. While I absolutely love cool evenings and signs that fall is coming, I still miss the carefree feeling of summer. Sweaters are my favorite type of clothing, but I would wear shorts year round if I could (with a sweater though – shorts and sweaters are fine together right?). Oh, and I can’t forget about boots either! Maybe I am ready for fall?

 

But before we jump too quickly into fall, lets talk about the fresh produce – the end of summer usually means stone fruits and I am beyond excited that peaches are finally ripe on the tree. We trimmed back our peach tree a lot this year and only got four extra large peaches but if you can find some at a farmer’s market they typically taste just as good.

I was dreaming of this salad after seeing it on a menu a couple weeks ago – roasted peaches, blackberries, and a local feta. Since I didn’t order it that evening I wanted to see what I could come up with myself.

I would say that it turned out pretty good! I added some pomegranate seeds for an extra pop of color and crunch in addition to the pumpkin seeds. And naturally arugula because I just love spicy greens or at least those with more flavor!

Roasted Peach and Blackberry Salad

Serves 4 large or 6 medium salads (and is easily scaled!)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-to-large peaches
  • 2-3 cups of blackberries
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded or ~1 cup of seeds
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • 8 cups arugula or other spring mix
  • Your favorite vinegar for dressing

Directions

  1. Prepare two large sheet pans with parchment paper and preheat oven to 425F (option to use broiler at 500F too – but watch carefully).
  2. Wash and dry all produce. Cut peaches into slices and arrange on one baking sheet. Evenly distribute blackberries on the other.
  3. Roast peaches and blackberries in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 425F or until tender and slightly “toasted”. If you choose to broil, this will be closer to 5-7 minutes. (Roasting on the grill is also a great summer option!).
  4. While fruit is roasting, arrange greens on plates or in a large bowl.
  5. Remove fruit from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. To arrange the salad, layer peaches first, then blackberries, feta, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas.
  7. Drizzle with your favorite vinegar or dressing. I personally love just a 18 year thick aged balsamic.

Time to eat!

This is a great salad served with salmon or other heartier fish. Since I’m a bread-aholic, I would also accompany this with a biscuit, light scone, or toast. You could take this for lunch by mixing the toppings together in one container and then topping the greens once your ready to eat. If you mix the arugula with everything and have it sit too long, the arugula will not be the freshest.

What are your favorite end of summer fruits and vegetables? Are you looking forward to fall or mourning summer?