Peach season! One that lends so many different options to your food experience. Whether consumed raw or used in entrees or desserts, I aim to bring another flavor level to this much anticipated seasonal fruit by adding wood-fired flavoring. Then I’ll take these flavorful peach halves and introduce you to a peach relish that is perfect for topping fish and seafood.
Visit your favorite farm stand, fresh market, or your own peach tree and pick three firm, fresh peaches and bring them to the kitchen for preparation before hitting the wood-fired grill. Oh, and we have plans for additional recipes with smoked peaches so do some extras while you have the grill or smoker going.
Easy Prep for the Grill or Smoker
Although yellow is the most common peach available, know that there is a white variety as well. Both have easy to remove pits that make them easy to prepare for your favorite recipes.
Start by peeling the skin from the peaches, you’ll need 3 for this recipe, though I’m doing a full sheet pan for additional recipes. Once peeled, using a paring knife, slice thru the center of the peach along the pit. Gently separate into two halves then remove the pit. Place the pitted and peeled peach half cut side down on a sheet pan. Continue with the remaining peaches. I’ll be using my gas grill set up with a smoker box of wood chunks to bring a smoky flavor to the fruit. I’ve placed my smoker box directly on my heat diffuser to get the wood hot and smoldering quickly. My pan of peach halves is placed on the unlit side of the grill. Lid down on the grill and allow these peaches to tenderize slightly and infuse the smoke flavor. I’ll check on them in about 15 minutes.
Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, flavors from wood on a gas grill will not be as intense as those on a charcoal unit. Keep this in mind when you select the equipment to infuse the smoke flavor into the peaches.
Relish Ingredients for Smoked Peach Relish
While the peaches are absorbing all that great hardwood flavor on the grill, let’s get started on the base for our peach relish. To begin, I’ll get my mortar although you can also use a mini food processor. Place one minced garlic clove into the mortar. Add one chili pepper (serrano, jalapeno, & Hungarian make good choices) that has been seeded and minced. To that, add 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar. Using your pestle or the processor, pound or pulse until a paste is formed. Remember, fresh ingredients will make for the best relish flavors.
With the base paste made to our peach relish, it’s time to add the liquids to balance the spicy and sweet flavors. Start by adding 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce. Transfer the relish base to a large bowl. Now return to the grill and remove the peach halves. These should be browned from the smoke infusion. Remove 6 halves and dice each. Add them to the bowl with the base. Let’s get ready for the final flavors.
The Ultimate Relish Flavors
The final flavors are the fresh herbs that need to be added right before serving. This includes ¼ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons of fresh mint. As peaches tends to be a delicate fruit meat, it’s important to gently mix everything together; don’t over combine. Serve immediately with your favorite fish or seafood. In fact, this is even great with just some toasted bread. I’ve served mine today with brown rice and simple seasoned shrimp with a side of yellow waxed beans. Delicate yet full of balanced flavors that will surprise you coming from a smoked fruit.
What’s your favorite recipe using smoked or grill peaches? Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes. Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.