The kids are back to school here in Colorado which really puts a damper on thoughts of long, lazy summer days. Instead it is back to the routine of school, sports practices and more. It’s easy to forget that summer is still going strong in many states across the country and, in fact, that fall doesn’t arrive on the calendar for another month. So let’s agree to not touch any pumpkin recipes just yet and let’s squeeze out every last bit of summer. #WholeFoods has plenty of reminders of summer waiting ripe and ready in their produce department. Here in Denver we have heirloom tomatoes from Dooley Farms, kale from Full Circle Farm and Palisade peaches from High Country Orchards and Kokopelli Farms. There are local treasures in most all Whole Foods Markets.
My mouth waters at the thought of fresh and juicy Palisade peaches which are brought to the store within two to three days of harvest. I found a great make-ahead recipe on the Whole Foods site for peaches poached with basil and have stumbled onto a new way to enjoy fruit as a dessert. This is the type of dessert that is SO easy to make and its simplicity highlights the short list of ingredients so be sure to use the best ingredients on offer. I can feel and taste the Colorado love in this dessert: local Palisade peaches, local basil from Osage Gardens, and even a local white wine from Bookcliff Vineyards that I purchased from Grapes Wine Market conveniently located next to my near by Whole Foods. Poaching a peach brings out the vibrant colors hidden within the fruit; “peach” is not just the color of a Crayola crayon. There are bright reds, rosy pinks, streaks of orange and yellow tones too that emerge as the skin peels away from your poached peach. With or without the added vanilla ice cream (and, oh yes, I went local there too with Boulder Organic Ice Cream), this simple dessert is sure to impress and as perfect for a dinner party as it is for a weeknight dessert.
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 6 peaches
- 1 large bunch fresh basil
- Optional: vanilla ice cream
- Place the wine, 1 1/2 cups water and sugar in a wide bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar slightly. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat, leaving the syrup to simmer gently.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove pits gently. Drop half of the basil leaves into the syrup, and then gently place the peach halves cut side down into the syrup. Poach for about 3 minutes and then gently turn over using a slotted spoon. Continue poaching for an additional 3 - 4 minutes, until soft (cooking time will depend on ripeness of peaches).
- Carefully prick the cut side of the peaches to check for tenderness. The peels should be wrinkling up as well. You may cook the peaches in two batches if all the halves will not fit in the pan at once.
- Remove the peaches to a plate with a slotted spoon. When they are cool enough to handle, gently slide the skins off and discard. Add all but about six basil leaves to the syrup and bring to a boil; boil until reduced by about half. Pour any juices that have collected on the plate with the peaches into the syrup. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- The peaches can be covered with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for several hours. When ready to serve, place two peach halves on a plate and drizzle with a little basil syrup. Reserve the remaining syrup for another use. Garnish with basil leaves and serve. Top with vanilla ice cream if desired.
Recipe source: Whole Foods Market website. Peaches poached with Basil
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This post is sponsored by Whole Foods. I participate in the Whole Foods Brand Ambassador program. All opinions are my own. Products from Whole Foods were provided to me free of charge but no monetary compensation was given. I am not associated with the other Colorado companies mentioned but I am a fan of each company and am lucky to have so many local Colorado companies to support.