Continuing the focus on fresh fruit, after working with fabulous Ontario plums, I scored a gorgeous basked of Ontario Peaches at the St Lawrence Market last weekend. Wanting to put them to good use, I headed to The Ontario Tender Fruit Producers website for some inspiration (I just love that they are one of my sponsors for IFBC in Seattle this August – nothing I like better than to blog about real foods!).
With company from out of town staying for the weekend, I thought we could enjoy the peaches in both a main dish and, of course, a cocktail. I am a firm believer in fruity drinks, as you can see here and here!
A peach mojito sounded pretty good for the sultry weather…
This was good but did not taste too strongly of peaches. Perhaps this was the idea. In any case, I liked this for what it was – a fruity rum drink! If I had peaches needing to be used up, I would totally make this, however, I really think fresh peaches are too gorgeous to buy and pulverise so I would suggest using some peach pulp/ canned peaches for this one.
1 Ontario peach, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup peach juice
3 oz white rum
2 cups ice, crushed
10 mint leaves
1/4 cup carbonated soda
Garnish: Sliced Ontario peaches, Mint leaves
Squeeze juice from the lime into blender. Add peach slices, sugar, juice and rum; blend until smooth. Add crushed ice and pulse until combined. Pulse in mint leaves. Pour into 2 chilled glasses. Add a splash of soda to each drink and garnish with peach slices and mint leaves. Makes 2 servings.
For the main course, I made a fresh peach salsa to go with an Asian-marinaded tilapia (the recipe calls for halibut but since I am still learning to like fish and blander fish go down better right now, I chose tilapia).
This was a real hit! The marinaded fish stood up to being grilled on the barbecue and the salsa was a lovely burst of freshness, also providing some crunch with the cucumbers. Even a picky 8 year-old declared this “yummy”! I will be making this again, for sure – it’s a great way for me to learn to love fish!
Fish with Zesty Ontario Peach Salsa
1/2 cup pitted and finely diced Ontario peaches
1/3 cup finely diced honeydew melon
1/3 cup finely diced cucumber
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh chiles, to taste
1-1/2 lb halibut steaks
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp each fish sauce and teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
Prepare salsa: In a large bowl combine peaches, melon, cucumber, red onion, lime juice, salt, sugar, cilantro and chilies. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Prepare halibut: Place steaks in a re-sealable plastic bag. In a medium bowl, combine garlic, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, ginger, cilantro, salt and pepper. Add marinade to fish in bag, seal and let marinate in refrigerator for one hour.
Grill fish on the barbecue turning only once, approximately four minutes per side, until cooked. Plate grilled halibut, top with peach salsa or serve on the side.
I am so enjoying working with fresh Ontario fruit this summer and excited to see what’s coming into season:
Eating Ontario tender fruit in season (approximate dates)
The first baskets of Ontario peaches are available from July 10 to mid-August
Freestone peaches soon follow from August 1 to September 30
Nectarines can be enjoyed July 19 to September 17
Ontario plums, depending on the variety, are available from July 5 to mid-September
Coronation table grapes from August 12 to September 24
Pears, depending on variety, from August 9 to December 31
Expect more fruity goodness on eat. live. travel. write. over the next few months!