peaches 

There are some fruits that you can only enjoy during summer, when they’re in season, in your neighborhood, and for just a limited time. Well, folks, this is that time, and one of those get-it-while-it’s-hot foods: The peach. The summer peach is divine: Fuzzy like a baby’s bottom, deliciously oozing with sweet, pulpy juice when ripe, one of nature’s sweetest treats sprouted off a branch.

So, you get them while the getting’s good, only to find you now have a fridge full of overripe peaches, and the clock is only ticking towards the day you’ll have to (eek!) throw them into the backyard compost pile. Worry not. If you need a break from the usual peach recipes—peach pie, peach crisp, peaches and cream—you can still make use of those juicy fruits. Try one of these unusual summer recipes to make the most of your plentiful peaches.

Sausage and Peach Pancake Casserole

  • 1 (16-ounce) package organic pork breakfast sausage or soy chorizo
  • 4 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups organic whole milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium peaches, peeled (if not organic), pitted, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking dish with olive oil. Preheat the baking dish in the oven.
  2. Brown the sausage or chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat; drain and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, thyme and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to form a batter. Add sausage and peaches; stir until mixed. Pour into the preheated baking dish.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Makes 8 to 10 squares

Grilled Blue Cheese and Peach Sandwiches

  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 4 thick slices bread of choice
  • 2 firm-ripe, peaches, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  1. Butter one side of each bread slice. Flip 2 slices over and top with peaches. Drizzle with honey. Top with cheeses and remaining bread slices, buttered sides up.
  2. Cook sandwiches in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning once, until golden and crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

Makes 2 sandwiches

Vegan, Gelatin-Free Fluffy Peach Mousse

  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar powder, or 2 tablespoons agar-agar flakes, dissolved in 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon kuzu, dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped fresh peaches
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons tahini
  1. In a large saucepan, bring the dissolved agar-agar mixture to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer; stir in the dissolved kuzu mixture. Remove from heat as soon as the kuzu turns from milky white to clear, stirring all the while.
  2. Combine peaches and apple juice in a blender; blend until smooth. Add both syrups; blend thoroughly. Add mixture to the agar/kuzu mixture; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, then reduce heat.
  3. Pour mousse into four parfait glasses, filling halfway. Chill all of the dishes and reserved mousse for at least 1 hour, until slightly firm and thick. Serve.

Makes about 4 servings

Image: adactio