It’s Peachlove month with the Love Bloghop! I am happy to be back hosting again with this group of awesome bloggers. Each month they select the “love” ingredient to be used as a main part in the recipe.
I was thrilled to see that August was dedicated to the Peach since I’ve moved from the “orange” state to the “peach” state! While I’ve purchased some Georgia peaches at Trader Joes, I’ve been looking forward to finding some fresh markets to visit. It’s been on my long to do list and with Gina’s visit, I made it a definite plan to search for a market.
Waking up Gina bright and early, fueled by morning espresso and GPS set to explore, we headed out. Georgia is so unlike Florida, which is mapped grid-like, East, West, North, South, just head to the ocean! I could always find my way around easily. Here roads curve, highways go around the perimeter, straight through, diagonal and the best was realizing there is just not one street named Peachtree but several, including a Peachtree City! And it’s not just with Peachtree, Paces Ferry can be Road, Way, East….omg…GPS required!
We found the closest market and I immediately spotted the peach stand. Content to see that my long anticipated search for a market selling peaches was satisfied, we first stopped to purchase homemade dog treats from Lose a Finger. Catchy name, by the way, they make slow smoked briskett, pork or turkey treats for dogs. All natural and healthy, they offer online ordering too. I got the briskett for my pups and they did truly love ’em!
From there we skipped the other stands to go directly to the long-awaited peaches! I greeted Peach guy with my biggest, happiest smile….”Good morning! So, you have Georgia grown peaches?”
“Oh, no, ma’am, we are from South Carolina”, said the very proud Peach guy. The smile has now left my face…
“Yes, in fact” he continues, “South Carolina grows more peaches than Georgia and ours are sweeter.” (oh gee, do I now need to move to south Carolina?? no, I cannot move again!!)
“Really” I say as I’m sniffing the peaches and so not getting that ripe distinct peach aroma I was expecting. In fact I could go home and open my bottle of peach schnapps and get a better peachy whiff. So we parted ways, thanking Peach guy for his time. Back home I did a quick search to learn that indeed there is some truth to his peaches being sweeter along with a long history of serious debate between Georgia vs. South Carolina peaches!
I guess there will be more investigating on my part in the pursuit of best tasting peaches, but in the meantime, we headed back to Trader Joes, picked up some organic Georgia grown peaches and vola…Peach Gazpacho!
The summer here is definitely hot and it seems like the heat has hit everyone this year. A cool, crisp gazpacho is perfect for a light meal and so very refreshing. I’ve picked up a few herb plants I’m carefully tending in baskets on my steps so I chopped in some basil and mint. I’ve posted my recipe below, but honestly I’ve made gazpacho is so many different ways easily creating them with what I have on hand and adjusting the taste. The quantities too can vary so much as to what’s on hand and personal preference.
Serving the gazpacho in margarita glasses is fun and different. Small diced avocado, pistachio nuts or coconut can be placed on top for a special touch and presentation. A grilled panini is a nice compliment for a wonderful light lunch or dinner.
Peach and Basil Gazpacho
1 1/2 pounds organic peaches, peeled and pitted
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, stem and seeds discarded, roughly chopped
2 green onions. roughly sliced
1 jalapeno, stem and seeds discarded
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 celery stalks with leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, juiced *
3 limes juiced * total of about 3/4 cup freshly squeezed tomato and lime juice combined
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white
Approximately 10-15 basil leaves
Approximately 10 mint leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Hot sauce, optional
Blend all in food processor or blender until desired consistency. I have blended the ingredients in portions so that they remain chunky and not overly processed. I like the feel of a bite in my gazpacho. The tomato and lime juice were made through my juicer, but you could also use a good quality tomato juice for the liquid. It’s best to make this several hours ahead of time to allow the flavors to marry. Serves about 6 for an appetizer or side.
Note: I use a veggie peeler for my peaches. If they are firm, this works nicely.
August is #peachlove month! Please join in on the #peachlove fun by linking up any peach recipe from the month of August 2012.
I joined with the following lovely hosts this month for #peachlove!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.