Lunch with Lauren: Peaches, Peaches and oh….more Peaches

by Lauren Townsend for The Aha! Connection
One of the first things I was told upon moving to South Carolina, from Texas, was that South Carolina grew more peaches than Georgia even though Georgia was called “The Peach State.” I thought that was a weirdly defensive bit of unsolicited information, so I would reply with, “well
maybe they grow BETTER peaches,” which made me zero friends. The good news
is that a google search would prove me right in that Georgia’s peaches are
apparently “of superior flavor and texture” and now South Carolinians can
offer up those National Championships for unsolicited factoids, so we all

According to, “Franciscan monks introduced peaches to
St. Simons and Cumberland Islands along Georgia’s coast in 1571 and by the
mid-1700s, peaches and plums were cultivated by the Cherokee Indians.”
Tomorrow, the Dunwoody Farmers Market will be open at 8:30 am at Brook Run
Park and that is a great place to grab some peaches, pork, arugula, and
cheese for some of the recipes below.

I love grilled peaches on pretty much anything, but especially to accompany
pork. There are a lot of great peach/pork combinations, but I like a good
chop. These were patted dry then seasoned with salt and pepper. I put oil
in a cast iron grill pan and seared each side for about 3 minutes on
medium/high then reduce the heat to medium for maybe 8 minutes. I whisked
together honey, balsamic vinegar and some herbs and added it to the pan for
the last two minutes. Once you take the pork out to rest, place 3 sliced up
peaches in the pan, coating with balsamic pork juices, and broiler for 3-4
minutes. I like to garnish with feta and herbs.

Peach and ricotta on pizza crust make a great appetizer or light summer
entree. Heat oven according to your dough’s packaging instructions. I bake
mine at 475 degrees. Once I have the dough pulled out, I spread ricotta,
like you would tomato sauce ,then lightly salt then place sliced peaches
and drizzle honey all over and a little oil on the crust. Pull it out of
the oven once golden and top with prosciutto, arugula and balsamic vinegar
or reduction.

I also used some peaches to make a cute little galette for dessert. A
galette is kind of a free form pie, no pan necessary. I thawed my favorite,
Trader Joe’s, pie crust and rolled to standard pie thickness, then cut into
a circle, using a large plate as my stencil. I sliced 4 to 5 peaches and
tossed them in cinnamon and sugar. Then lay them flat in the center,
leaving about an inch and a half border. Fold the crust over to make a
circle and brush with egg wash (whisked egg and water) and sprinkle
generously with sugar. This one took almost an hour at 375 degrees. Top
with whipped cream and fresh mint or basil for the perfect simple, summer

Eventually, the peaches start to go down hill and you see all the bruises
from your kids squeezing them to see if they are ripe. When that happens, I
cut them up, place in a pan with a little water, cinnamon and a bunch of
brown sugar. Once they are cooked through, I toss them in the food
processor and chill. Now you have a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or

I topped this log of goat chevre with local honey, peach puree and
a little thyme. Another option is mashed in sweet tea, white wine spritzer
or this bourbon peach cocktail. I pour ½ a cup of unsweet tea (you could
use sweet, just omit the honey), 2 oz of bourbon, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1
tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 hearty tablespoon of puree into a shaker of
ice. Once cold, I strain into a glass and garnish. It’s the only sweet tea
I can drink.

If you have any questions, requests or want to join a local food community,
head over to The Aha! Connection Facebook page and join the Lunch with
Lauren group.