Polling people on how to eat peaches yields predictable — albeit reliably good — responses.
Cobbler is so indispensable that Beebe Farms shopper Julie Hall freezes enough fruit to make it all winter. Putting up peaches is a popular summer pastime that benefits from some local growers, highlighted in this week’s A la Carte, offering seconds and volume discounts.
After canning enough peaches last year to get us through this one, my mother-and-law and I are taking the summer off. That doesn’t mean I don’t crave peaches on the palate. If anything, I try to incorporate them as much as possible into meals, including pizza, one of my favorites.
The recipe that ran with this week’s story closely resembles a pizza I like to make in summer. My most recent version incorporated blue cheese.
But when I don’t want to hassle with rolling out dough, I’ve been known to slip thinly sliced peaches into quesadillas, similar to this concept from the Washington Post. The newspaper’s recipe testers observed that peaches are a natural with savory ingredients, including pork and cheese.
Photo for The Washington Post by Deb Lindsey
7 ounces fresh pork sausage (3 or 4 links; can be seasoned)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 medium red oniony
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ripe peaches
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 or 7 large basil leaves
Eight (6-inch) corn tortillas
6 ounces grated, sharp, white cheddar cheese
Line a plate with paper towels.
Place pinches of the sausage in a medium skillet (discard casings if needed); cook for about 8 minutes over medium heat, seasoning sausage with the five-spice powder after first few minutes. Stir occasionally to break up any clumps.
Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut into a small dice.
Once sausage is cooked through yet still moist, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 1 tablespoon rendered fat from skillet; return to medium heat. Add onion, stirring to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until softened and starting to brown. Season with the cumin, soy sauce and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer to a bowl; wipe out skillet (you’ll be using it again).
Cut each of the peaches in half; discard pits, then cut each half into thin slices, placing them in a bowl as you work. Drizzle with the oil, then season lightly with pepper.
Stack the basil leaves, then roll them tightly; cut into very thin slices (chiffonade), then transfer to bowl of peach slices, tossing to distribute them evenly.
Arrange 4 tortillas side by side on countertop. Use half the cheese, scattering equal amounts over each one, leaving about a 1/2-inch margin around edges. Scatter or spoon cooked sausage on top of each portion of cheese. Fan peaches on top of each tortilla, so slices overlap and create a wheel. Scatter cooked onion over peaches, then scatter then remaining cheese evenly over each one. Top with remaining 4 tortillas.
Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven; preheat to 200 F.
Lightly grease same (now-empty) skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add 1 quesadilla and cook for 2 minutes, then turn it over and cook for 2 minutes; cheese should be mostly melted and tortilla browned in spots. Transfer to preheated oven.
Repeat with remaining quesadillas, spraying skillet each time and transferring them to oven to keep warm.
Cut each one into wedges; serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
Adapted by the Washington Post from “Simple Summer: A Recipe for Cooking and Entertaining With Ease,” by Jonathan Bardzik (self-published, 2013).