Peaches and rosemary were made for each other. It’s as simple as that. I love peaches. I love rosemary. Put them together, and I’m head over heels for it, no matter what it is. As I’ve been dreaming up new ways to eat peaches (like it’s my full-time job), the idea came to me a few weeks ago to make an iced tea infused with rosemary and sweetened with fresh peach puree and a touch of raw honey. Rosemary has that deeply savory, piney flavor that helps bring out the natural sweet, perfumey flavor of the peaches. It’s a bridge between late summer and early fall when I’m not quite ready to jump into pumpkin everything, and not ready to let the vibrance of summer go.
So yesterday I stopped by a farm stand to get more peaches and a pumpkin. I select peaches as you should, but in the way that is frowned upon by market owners. To get the perfect peach every time, it must be gently squeezed. Almost like you’re squeezing a raw egg and don’t want to crack the shell. Just so. It should yield slightly. If it’s rock hard, set it down and search for another. Peaches will not continue to ripen off the tree. They will soften a bit. They might even be juicy instead of mealy, and you’ll think they are ripening, but they will never, never be as sweet as the ones left to fully ripen in the cool early fall nights and sunny, warm afternoons. Those peaches will be as sweet as honey, just as sticky, and exploding with juiciness. No supermarket peach will ever do again.
I have a bunch of pumpkin recipes planned, but for now, it’s going to be more peaches until I tire of them or until the season ends. (The latter, actually.)
I found a delightful Chinese white tea at the Asian market a few weeks ago. As I’ve been brewing kombucha, I have started to experiment with different varieties of tea. The one I bought is white peony. The flavor is so light and crisp. It makes some of the best kombucha ever, so I knew it would be perfect for this iced tea. I’m calling it an iced tea, but it’s a little more than that with its pureed peaches and all. And like I always tend to do, I added a good bit of sparkling mineral water at the end for good measure. But iced tea works too.
Most iced tea is either too sweet or not sweet enough for me. I am definitely not a seasoned tea drinker or an expert. All I know is that I prefer it lightly sweetened with a good squeeze of fresh lemon. This one is very lightly sweetened with a few teaspoons of raw honey. It has that squeeze of fresh lemon, but I added peach puree too. It’s more of a peach tea mocktail. I don’t know what it is, except that it tasted so gosh darn good after a long, exhausting day. The rosemary just adds a little more “something” to the drink. It’s not overpowering, really. You know it’s there, but at the same time it’s kind of like the ghost of rosemary.
And then we come to the salad. Oh, these peaches! So sweet and delectable. I really cannot help myself around them. It almost hurt me to do anything except for eat it over the sink. The idea of a fruit salad came to me. There’s a Fresh Start 21 recipe (affiliate link) for a fruit salad that is basically just strawberries, almonds, and fresh mint with a little maple syrup. But it is so incredibly wonderful in its simplicity. So that was my inspiration – fresh, thick slices of peach, sliced almonds, finely minced rosemary, and the tiniest touch of honey. It is perfection embodied in a fruit salad, I tell you!
Because it’s all about peaches today…one more for the road!
Becky (Project Domestication) and I have been teaming up (almost) every month to share a recipe with a theme. The summer got kind of busy and we lapsed a bit with our crazy schedules, but we decided to carry on for September. This month the theme was Stone Fruit. Becky made some gorgeous Cinnamon Peach Pastry Cups that you’ll definitely want to check out. Becky’s recipes are always, always good. (I know because I’ve eaten quite a few in her company and recreated in my own kitchen!)
Tell me please, how are you enjoying peach season?
- 2-4 bags organic white tea
- 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 cups filtered water, divided
- 1 large peach, peeled and sliced
- 2-4 teaspoons raw honey
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon juice
- Chilled sparkling water
- Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags and rosemary sprig. Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags and rosemary. Let cool completely.
- Puree half of the peach, honey, and lemon juice in a blender. Add a little water, if needed.
- Combine cooled tea and peach puree in a carafe or pitcher. Add the remaining water and chill until ready to serve, about an hour or longer. Pour some of the iced tea into a cup and add a little chilled sparkling water, if desired.
-Substitute nectarines or even apples for peaches, if desired.
- 1 large peach, pitted and peeled, cut into thick slices
- ½ rosemary sprig, very finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup
- Place peaches on a plate and sprinkle with rosemary and almonds. Drizzle honey on top and eat immediately.