Peaches are gorgeous this time of year, even at my local supermarket they’re fragrant and blushing. We’re at the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this week, and the peaches are amazing here too. In addition to eating them and letting the sweet juice dribble down my chin, I am always looking for ways to bring sweet summer peaches into savory dishes. Local chef Joey Russo came to cook for us the other night and whipped up the most delicious Balsamic Oven Roasted Peaches Topped with Smoked Cheddar. The sweet and savory combination paired perfectly together, and I can’t wait to repeat the dish the next time I’m entertaining.
We met Chef Joey when we first came to the Outer Banks two years ago and my husband was celebrating his 40th birthday. I called around looking for a personal chef to cook him a birthday feast and Joey and I had a couple of great conversations discussing possible dishes, long chats outdoing each other listing our favorite ingredients: scallops, clams, barbecued pig, fresh tomatoes… I started to get very excited about our meal, but was a little concerned by Joey’s refusal to take any kind of deposit. He assured me, “No worries! We’ll deal with all that when we see each other, man. I trust you. You sound like good people.”
When he actually showed up on Steve’s birthday, and ferried cooler after cooler of delicious ingredients, I couldn’t believe my luck. He didn’t just cook for us, he fed us tasty morsels, as giddy as a little kid, dabbing dots of homemade sauces on top of tomatoes from his garden and feeding them into our waiting mouths as we gathered around the oven where he worked his magic. In addition to the peaches, he served us gorgonzola topped with raw honey dripping from a honeycomb, angel hair pasta with a two-hour marinara sauce stuffed with scallops and shrimp, thinly sliced steak with a truffle balsamic drizzle, baby lima bean succotash with sweet summer corn, and finished it all with chocolate pots de creme with raspberry coulis and miniature cannolis he filled for us at the table. If you’re ever planning a vacation in the Outer Banks, you have to plan an evening with Joey Russo but call way in advance as many families book him for an entire week months in advance.
Summary: These sweet and savory roasted peaches make a delicious appetizer or exciting side.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
- 4 Peaches (best in summer, but even bland winter peaches would shine with this recipe)
- 1/4 cups of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- 8 thin slices of smoked cheddar
- 3 tablespoons of balsamic reduction (either store bought or homemade)
- Salt and ground black pepper to your liking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits.
- Drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg, ground pepper, and salt.
- Top with brown sugar and one slice of smoked cheddar per peach.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the peaches just begin to caramelize and the cheddar melts.
- Remove from oven and drizzle prettily with balsamic reduction before serving.
- When done eating, don’t discard the delicious juices at the bottom of your baking dish. Save them to top pancakes the following morning.
Microformatting by hRecipe.