This grilled peach with strawberry goat cheese recipe combines the sweetness of peak season peaches with the subtle tanginess of goat cheese blended with strawberries.
Topped with toasted walnuts and honey, this quick, low-fat dessert is a great end to a summer meal.
There is nothing like a fresh, juicy peach in the middle of summer. Good thing they are at their absolute peak between mid-June to late September. Fun fact, South Carolina produces more peaches during its harvesting season than Georgia, despite Georgia being known as the peach state.
Peaches are amazing since they are low in fat and a good source of vitamin C. They are available fresh, frozen and canned. There are two main varieties of peaches, clingstone and freestone. In clingstone peaches, the pit adheres to the flesh and in freestone varieties, the pit easily falls away from the flesh. Freestone peaches are the main varieties harvested late in the peach season in South Carolina.
For regular snacking, choose peaches that are free from blemishes and that easily give to gentle pressure. For this recipe, however, look for very firm peaches since we will be grilling them. Soft peaches aren't going to withstand the high heat of the grill. I used a charcoal grill, but feel free to use a gas grill at medium heat. If using charcoal, wait until the coals have cooled down and there are no visible flames.
I made a quick strawberry goat cheese that gives us a blend of tanginess with sweetness from a strawberry sauce. If you can’t find goat cheese, just use cream cheese that has been softened to room temperature. We top our finished grilled peaches with honey and toasted walnuts for a little extra sweetness and crunch.
Be sure to use firm peaches that can withstand the high heat of the grill.
Toast the walnuts at 350 degrees for 10 minutes in the oven, checking them occasionally to make sure they don’t burn. Shake the tray to keep them from sticking and burning.
Cut each peach in half and remove the pit by cutting around the edge and scooping it out with a spoon.
Hull the strawberries and quarter them. Add the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until strawberries are soft and falling apart, roughly 7-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add two tablespoons of the strawberry sauce to the softened goat cheese and mix. Set aside while you grill your peaches.
Heat gas grill to medium heat or use a charcoal grill when the coals have cooled down and there is no visible flame. If there is any visible flame, just wait until it dies down. Closing the lid of the grill helps. Don't use a spray bottle to spray water on the flames as it will create ash and ash doesn't taste good y'all.
Brush each peach with a little canola oil so that it doesn’t stick to the grill.
Place each peach flat side down on the grill. Don’t move them once they are on the grate, that will give them some grill marks.
Grill for 3-4 minutes until they naturally loosen from the grill grate.
Turn them over and add 2 tablespoons of the strawberry goat cheese to the center of each peach where the pit was removed.
Grill for 3-4 minutes more until warmed through.
Drizzle with honey and top with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately. One peach half per person.
Hope y'all enjoy and happy grilling from the Northeast Teaching Kitchen!
The Certified South Carolina program is a cooperative effort among producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) to brand and promote South Carolina products.