Who can resist a mid-summer peach?  This “Persian Apple” varies in color and taste, possesses velvety skin the colors of breath-taking sunsets, and offers up intensely fragrant fruit that yields to the slightest touch, when ripe.  Though what to do with those not quite ripe peaches? 

Crook’s Corner’s Executive Chef, Bill Smith, offers the perfect solution!  His recipe for Green Peach Salad is simple and delicious and just right for a “much too hot to cook” day.  And, we’ve certainly had our share of those!

This recipe is included in Seasoned in the South – Recipes From Crook’s Corner and From Home (available at Crook’s Corner and where books are sold):

Sometimes you end up with unripe peaches despite your best efforts, especially if you buy a whole bushel. This is a wonderful way to use some of them. It is great with cold meats.

Serves 4-6

2 1/2 pounds of unripe peaches, peeled and sliced as for a pie
Scant 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons strong-flavored extra-virgin olive oil, like Greek or Lebanese
2 tablespoons fresh mint chiffonade

Toss the peaches with the sugar and the salt. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Fold in the pepper, oil, and mint. Serve cold within a few hours or preparation, as it will become mushy overnight.

I especially enjoy this cookbook because the recipes are organized by season.  Tonight I’ll be cutting watermelon and tomatoes into chunks to make Chef Smith’s Tomato and Watermelon Salad.  My thanks to Chef for inspiring me to make use of a bounty of irresistible summer produce that somehow found its way into my market basket!