The author and cook, Heather

Perfect Peaches with Almond Pesto

Deep Run Roots

Stone fruits are my absolute favorite fruits. Cherries are tops for me, but a good ripe peach comes a close second. In late summer, they're everywhere here in North Carolina.

It can be difficult to judge when peaches are ripe, but I have had luck with going by scent; when they're ripe, they finally start smelling like peaches. Then I store them in the refrigerator until I'm ready to eat them, which will extend their life appreciably without a loss in quality, as long as they are already ripe! Wait one day too long, though, and you'll start getting bad spots and even mold, which is very, very sad.

For this recipe, you'll want perfectly ripe peaches. They should be fragrant, nowhere near crunchy, and juicy. You can make the almond pesto ahead of time so it's ready as soon as your peaches are perfect! The fried sage takes only a few seconds, so you'll want to do that just before you're ready to eat.

I found this recipe online here:

Serving Sizeserves 4
Carbohydrates30g (5g fiber, 23g sugar)


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with Heather today it's August we have a
[00:10]: ton of peaches to use up because
[00:13]: we keep getting them and my husband
[00:15]: bought a bunch and we get them in our
[00:17]: produce box almost every week this time
[00:18]: of year
[00:19]: and I haven't been using them as much as
[00:23]: I should because I haven't been cooking
[00:24]: as much as I should because
[00:28]: life
[00:29]: anyway uh I turned to deeper on Roots
[00:33]: Vivian Howard's cookbook because I knew
[00:34]: that there were there was a peach
[00:35]: section and we hadn't done everything in
[00:38]: it yet and I found this recipe so today
[00:42]: we're going to be making perfect peaches
[00:44]: with almond pesto
[00:47]: so the first thing we're going to make
[00:48]: is pesto
[00:50]: now these are
[00:53]: whole previously raw almonds but they
[00:57]: have been toasted over medium heat for
[00:60]: like two or three minutes she says it
[01:02]: took probably like
[01:04]: five to eight maybe to get the pan and
[01:07]: everything up to temperature until I
[01:09]: started smelling the sort of nutty scent
[01:12]: of The Toasted nuts but they I went
[01:14]: ahead and did that because they needed
[01:16]: to be back to room temperature so
[01:20]: we're putting these in the food
[01:21]: processor
[01:25]: and
[01:27]: we are adding
[01:30]: um a few things to this we're adding
[01:32]: some orange zest
[01:40]: we are adding
[01:43]: uh
[01:44]: uh some Parmesan that has been cut into
[01:50]: like rough small cubes
[01:56]: I did that a while ago so it's probably
[01:58]: mostly room temperature now and then
[01:60]: we're adding
[02:01]: um
[02:02]: we have chili flakes
[02:04]: salt and some fresh nutmeg
[02:08]: that I'm going to put in here
[02:12]: and she calls them yeah she calls them
[02:14]: chili flakes they're red
[02:16]: red pepper flakes whatever they crushed
[02:18]: red chilies I think is what they are
[02:20]: often labeled as here
[02:24]: um
[02:25]: and now we're going to pulse these until
[02:27]: it's all coarsely chopped
[02:30]: foreign
[02:36]: I'm going to call that good for now and
[02:39]: I'm also gonna
[02:41]: try to get stuff that gets all up in
[02:44]: this little
[02:47]: Ridge in in the lid here because
[02:53]: all right there we go
[02:55]: now
[02:57]: I'm going to tell you what I'm going to
[02:58]: add because we're going to do this while
[02:60]: it's running so you're not gonna be able
[03:02]: to hear me
[03:03]: while it's running I'm just going to
[03:05]: turn it on and we're going to add some
[03:08]: honey we're going to add half of the
[03:11]: orange juice in the recipe
[03:13]: half of the olive oil in the recipe and
[03:18]: all of some lemon juice so that's what
[03:20]: you're going to see me adding now
[03:30]: okay
[03:31]: so that's all been Incorporated
[03:34]: and now I need to transfer this into a
[03:39]: bowl
[03:42]: got this bowl that I can just put a lid
[03:44]: on and put in the refrigerator because
[03:46]: once this is done it has to
[03:49]: um
[03:51]: sit for a while to let the flavors marry
[03:54]: so
[03:56]: I'm going to flush with my stuff off of
[04:00]: this
[04:04]: thing
[04:07]: and now
[04:09]: um
[04:11]: we just stir in the rest of the lemon
[04:13]: the orange juice which I'm going to try
[04:16]: to get
[04:18]: I saw a seed or something in there so
[04:21]: we're just going to stir in
[04:23]: the orange juice
[04:26]: I think that's fine
[04:29]: and
[04:30]: the olive oil
[04:40]: here we go the orange juice and now just
[04:42]: the olive oil
[04:47]: that is more of a texture I would be
[04:50]: expecting from pesto
[04:53]: okay now I'm gonna clean up my bowl a
[04:56]: little bit I'm gonna put a lid on this
[04:57]: and let it sit at room temperature
[04:59]: uh it can sit in the refrigerator I
[05:02]: think she says for
[05:04]: up to a week I'm gonna let it sit at
[05:07]: room temperature because we're gonna eat
[05:08]: this really soon and it's supposed to be
[05:09]: room temperature when you when you eat
[05:11]: it when you serve it so
[05:17]: that's good
[05:19]: we will be back at the stove because we
[05:22]: also need to
[05:24]: fry up some uh Sage leaves for a little
[05:29]: garnish so that's what we'll be doing
[05:30]: got some olive oil in a small pan over
[05:32]: medium heat waiting until it shimmers
[05:34]: it's pretty much there probably about
[05:36]: 350 and we're going to fry these very
[05:39]: quickly about 10 seconds
[05:42]: uh
[05:46]: make it very very skinny
[05:49]: and then we're going to put them on this
[05:51]: uh paper towel and salt them and that's
[05:55]: it
[06:11]: foreign
[06:17]: our pesto has been sitting for almost an
[06:19]: hour now and it's time to prepare the
[06:21]: peaches
[06:23]: now she says just wash them and scrub
[06:26]: the fuzz if there is any
[06:28]: my family will not eat the skin so I'm
[06:32]: going to be peeling mine and I hope that
[06:34]: they feel okay these are
[06:37]: nice and fragrant and if they're
[06:40]: nice and ripe they will often peel okay
[06:44]: without doing anything
[06:46]: without you know
[06:48]: hot water
[06:50]: but anyway
[06:51]: so I am
[06:54]: going to try that today and I like to
[06:57]: um
[06:58]: basically quarter them first
[07:02]: and then
[07:05]: usually you can kind of pull the skin
[07:08]: off from there
[07:10]: sometimes you have to use the knife a
[07:12]: little bit but anyway
[07:15]: so I'm going to be doing this for a
[07:18]: little while because it's going to take
[07:20]: a little while and you won't be seeing
[07:22]: all this because I don't have a whole
[07:23]: lot to say about this that I haven't
[07:24]: already said
[07:26]: um but when
[07:28]: I have my peaches peeled I will be
[07:31]: cutting them into
[07:33]: approximate approximately half inch
[07:36]: slices so each of these will get like I
[07:38]: don't know three pieces two to three
[07:40]: pieces depending on the size of your
[07:42]: peaches
[07:44]: um it would probably be a lot easier
[07:46]: just to go ahead and
[07:48]: boil these but I only do that
[07:51]: I do that often with peaches that have
[07:53]: been in the refrigerator these ones have
[07:55]: not yet
[07:56]: just because then I don't have to put
[07:58]: them in an ice bath and all that is just
[08:00]: kind of annoying so
[08:02]: uh
[08:05]: there we go let me show you just real
[08:08]: quick so I've got it
[08:11]: peeled and now I'm just going to
[08:15]: cut each into approximately half inch
[08:18]: slices at the back side and they are
[08:21]: going into bowls now I have two bowls
[08:25]: uh and I will talk about that when I'm
[08:27]: all done
[08:29]: [Music]
[08:36]: foreign
[08:39]: so my peaches are peeled and to be clear
[08:42]: that is not part of the recipe that is
[08:44]: just because of my family
[08:46]: the only other thing I need to do is
[08:48]: we're going to pour some Amaretto
[08:50]: over
[08:52]: approximately half of the peaches that I
[08:54]: did
[08:55]: um and just kind of toss them with it
[08:58]: now
[08:60]: I decided that I was going to make one
[09:02]: with amaretto and one without and I'm
[09:05]: not going to make these individual
[09:07]: servings even though that's probably you
[09:09]: know what she expects for this but I'm
[09:11]: going to make sort of a kid's plate and
[09:14]: an adult plate
[09:16]: I don't think it's a big idea big deal
[09:18]: if you let your kids have a little bit
[09:20]: of the Amaretto that's like left on
[09:22]: these peaches but I thought we'd try it
[09:24]: both ways so
[09:26]: peaches are ready let me go get my pesto
[09:31]: and my sage
[09:34]: all right so here is our almond pesto
[09:39]: all right
[09:40]: so I'm going to start with like a puddle
[09:42]: and since I'm making this sort of a
[09:44]: sharing
[09:47]: salad
[09:50]: uh I'm going to be putting quite a bit
[09:53]: on here just because she says don't be
[09:56]: stingy you want like a teaspoon or so in
[09:58]: every bite
[09:59]: so and now
[10:01]: I'm going to so this will be our adult
[10:04]: one I'm going to put these peaches with
[10:06]: the Amaretto just kind of stack them all
[10:10]: up
[10:15]: Amaretto smells so good
[10:29]: [Music]
[10:35]: you can use this peachy stuff in a drink
[10:37]: if you want
[10:42]: all right and now I'm just gonna put
[10:44]: these other ones over here without the
[10:46]: Amaretto
[10:48]: um
[10:48]: could probably put some juice on them
[10:50]: some lemon juice or something if you
[10:51]: wanted but I'm not going to worry about
[10:53]: that right now because we're going to
[10:54]: eat it right away which is what you want
[10:57]: to do with these peaches is as soon as
[10:59]: they're cut
[11:03]: I put a few more on the adults than on
[11:05]: the kids
[11:06]: just because I don't know if my kids are
[11:08]: going to enjoy
[11:14]: this with the almond pesto or not
[11:18]: never know
[11:19]: but I know I'm going to like it so plus
[11:21]: they can have some of this if they want
[11:23]: and then we're just going to drizzle a
[11:25]: little bit more of the
[11:27]: pesto on top
[11:34]: and
[11:37]: scatter
[11:38]: the sage
[11:40]: like rose petals
[11:45]: found that basically as soon as they
[11:48]: uh
[11:50]: stopped sizzling that meant they were
[11:52]: pretty much done
[11:55]: the sage while they were frying so
[12:08]: there we go
[12:12]: so
[12:14]: there's our perfect peaches with almond
[12:16]: pesto we will let you know what we think
[12:19]: in just a minute
[12:21]: [Music]
[12:29]: on this episode of cooking the books
[12:31]: with Heather you watched me make perfect
[12:33]: peaches with almond pesto
[12:36]: so we actually got several opinions on
[12:40]: this recipe because we had some guests
[12:43]: coming over to be in the pool so
[12:45]: everybody sort of got to taste it
[12:48]: um
[12:50]: the peaches were perfect which was great
[12:52]: it was great they were great for this
[12:54]: recipe you do want them to be
[12:58]: nice and sweet and ripe for this recipe
[13:02]: they wouldn't be it wouldn't be nearly
[13:03]: as good with
[13:06]: um hard crunchy peaches since you're not
[13:09]: cooking them at all
[13:11]: I did peel mine which you do not have to
[13:14]: do if you do not mind eating
[13:16]: the skin on a peach my family has a
[13:19]: problem with that so I did peel them
[13:24]: um the almond pesto
[13:27]: was was really an interesting flavor it
[13:30]: wasn't it was the it wasn't sweet but it
[13:34]: had sweetness
[13:35]: but it was it really felt more Savory
[13:38]: because of the the cheese I think
[13:41]: um
[13:43]: so it was just it was really an
[13:45]: interesting flavor uh I had some more in
[13:49]: the refrigerator and I was going to you
[13:51]: know eat it with other things but
[13:53]: we had a problem uh our refrigerator
[13:56]: stopped working so
[13:59]: that had to be thrown out there was we
[14:01]: lost a lot of stuff in that not
[14:03]: everything luckily we caught it before
[14:05]: everything went bad but
[14:07]: um we
[14:09]: had to go down to coolers and a smaller
[14:11]: refrigerator so
[14:13]: didn't get to try that on other things
[14:15]: like I wanted to
[14:17]: um
[14:18]: but that was really good we liked it
[14:20]: both I think with the Amaretto was a
[14:23]: little bit better than without because
[14:24]: that was sort of a different flavor but
[14:26]: it was perfectly fine without the
[14:28]: Amaretto if you don't feel comfortable
[14:29]: serving that to children it's fine
[14:33]: it's very little alcohol honestly it's
[14:35]: hell of course so the amount that's in
[14:38]: here the amount that you actually end up
[14:39]: eating I wouldn't really worry about it
[14:42]: but we tried it both ways just in case
[14:45]: um and it was
[14:48]: they were both good
[14:49]: but I think there was just a little
[14:51]: something extra with the Amaretto on the
[14:53]: peaches
[14:54]: um
[14:55]: yeah hopefully you guys can see this
[14:58]: before the end of peach season I think
[14:60]: we're right at the tail end of it right
[15:02]: now and this is going to go out this
[15:03]: week so hopefully you guys can try this
[15:06]: before
[15:08]: you cannot get perfect peaches anymore
[15:11]: um
[15:12]: I think if you really wanted to you
[15:14]: could probably use some canned peaches
[15:17]: some
[15:18]: maybe some home canned peaches would be
[15:20]: great but uh I haven't eaten canned
[15:24]: peaches in so long I'm not really sure
[15:26]: that would be that would be a winter
[15:28]: thing you could try to brighten up
[15:31]: um oh and I really did like the
[15:34]: the crumbly fried Sage leaves those were
[15:37]: good those were a good addition in my
[15:40]: opinion so anyway
[15:42]: if you enjoyed watching me make this
[15:44]: please give me a thumbs up hit the
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[15:47]: friends and come back and watch me make
[15:51]: something else next week
[15:53]: foreign