WFAEats: A Problem With Peaches

Sep 4, 2018

Is there anything sadder than a bowl of beautiful peaches that just won’t ripen? 

It’s not your imagination, especially if you bought some late-season peaches in the hopes of prolonging the taste of summer. That fruit can go from rock-hard to moldy mush and never hit that sweet spot of perfection. It happens when the unripe fruit has been refrigerated for too long during shipping. 

Carol Sawyer has a simple solution. As a member of the Board of Education here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, she’s used to dealing with tough problems. So when she texted me a picture of a salsa she made from her own pitiful peaches, I insisted on getting a recipe. 

Sure, there are ways to push a peach toward ripening. You can close them up in a paper bag, which traps the ethylene gas that the fruit naturally emits and hastens the process. Some people recommend microwaving it (but it should be noted that rarely does a microwave improve a food’s texture or taste).

Peach salsa
Credit Carol Sawyer

Nevertheless, this salsa recipe beats those other methods. It can be made quickly, adapted easily to ingredients you have on hand, served immediately or refrigerated, and goes with lots of dishes. Sawyer plated hers atop baked salmon for a double dose of orange deliciousness. 

Carol Sawyer’s Peach Salsa

  • Peaches
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if desired

Slice peaches thickly without removing peel. Place on a baking sheet. Scatter with some peeled, sliced garlic. Broil for a few minutes and watch closely; when the garlic begins to brown, turn the mixture. When the other side browns, remove from oven. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar if desired. Can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled. 

(Servings will vary according to the amount of peaches used.)

Amy Rogers writes WFAEats, a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and tackle the meatier side of the food scene in and around Charlotte.