On a recent Saturday morning visit to The Little Italy Farmers Market, I sampled a variety of farm fresh goat cheeses from vendor Nicolau Farms, who happened to be perched right next to a vibrant display of virtually every type of peach, nectarine and stone fruit that one could possibly conjure. And just as I sampled a heavenly concoction of goat cheese infused with lavender and honey, my eyes landed next door on a box of beautiful ripe yellow peaches …
Grilled Peaches with Lavender-Honey Goat Cheese
(Yields 4 servings)
- 2 ripe yellow peaches *
- 1/4 cup goat cheese with lavender and honey *
- 1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil or unsalted butter, melted
- White Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling (optional)
Slice each peach in half along the seam and and carefully twist to separate. Twist the pits to remove them (or grab a knife and start digging, but keep in mind that peaches are delicate little darlings that bruise easily!)
Lightly brush the cut side of the peaches with the oil or butter, then place the halves cut side down on a hot grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Brush a little more of the oil or butter over the skin side and gently flip each half over using a flat metal spatula.
Move the peaches to an area on your grill where the heat is indirect. Brush a little more butter on the grilled halves, cover the grill, and allow the peaches to cook and soften for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the peaches to a dish or tray, brush a little more butter over the flesh, and allow them to cool to room temperature (15-20 minutes).
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese into the center of each half, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve – preferably with a glass of Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay.
* I prefer using yellow peaches for grilling because the flavors tend to be more intense than white peaches or nectarines. And, of course, any type of soft cheese such as ricotta or plain goat cheese can be substituted.
San Diegans can easily find farm-fresh goodies at over 50 Farmers Markets located in virtually every nook and corner of America’s Finest City, but my favorite place for farmers market shopping is – hands down – The Little Italy Mercato. Every Saturday from 8am until 2pm, five blocks along Cedar Street swarm with hundreds people sipping their steamy cup of morning latte while browsing over 150 stalls brimming with wildly colorful produce and flowers, organic meats and fresh fish. Vendors happily offer tasty samples of honey, marmalades, balsamic vinegar, imaginative pestos, cheese, and artisan baked breads. With stunning views of San Diego Harbor and the downtown skyline, and live music filling the breezy coastal air, you just can’t help but be happy at The Little Italy Mercato!