Bacon and Peaches

The unusual combination of sweet peaches and crispy bacon sounded delicious to me. But then I saw the poor ratings for the recipe Linton Hopkins contributed to Food & Wine. With a few tweaks to omit the dressing, and the addition of some sweet peppers and cheese, my version got rave reviews. This dish tastes even better the next day, when the flavors have merged. It’s also equally good cold.

Grilled Peaches, Peppers, Onions and Bacon Salad
Serves 2.

Ingredients

3-4 ripe peaches
4 slices of bacon
2-3 red or green peppers, seeded
1/2 a large Vidalia onion
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 tbsp of honey
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
A few sprigs of fresh oregano or thyme
1/4 tsp of red pepper
1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese (preferably gorgonzola dolce)
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, for garnish if desired

Directions

Partially cook the bacon. It should still be slightly fatty and not quite crisp enough to crumble. (2 minutes in the microwave saves time and is less messy.) Cut bacon into bite-size pieces and set aside. Pre-heat grill to medium high. Slice peaches in half and remove the pits. Leave skin on. Then slice into sections, drizzle with honey and set aside. Slice or julienne the peppers and onions. In a separate bowl, toss the peppers and onions with oil, salt, pepper, fresh herbs and red pepper. (Note: I tried this recipe with both tangerine oil and jalapeno oil. Both were delicious.) Place in grill pan and add the bacon.

Grill the veggies and bacon for 7 minutes, tossing frequently so that the veggies char and bacon gets crisp. Add peaches and cook for another 3 minutes, continuing to toss. (If peaches are harder, add them earlier.) When all ingredients are nicely charred and not burnt, remove from the grill. Should be approximately 10 minutes total. Then toss in the blue cheese. You can leave it in crumbles or, because it will melt well, you can mix it through so it makes a gooey sauce with the peach juices. (Feta or goat cheese would also work if you have an aversion to blue.) Top with some fresh parsley, if desired.

Serve with simply grilled pork chops. Or, like I did, lightly oil both sides of a halibut filet, squeeze some lemon juice on it and sprinkle it with salt, pepper and some herbs of your choosing. Grill for 4 minutes on each side. If you have some pesto and sour cream in the frig, heat up a tbsp of sour cream and mix some pesto in with it. Serve the fish with the sauce for an elegant and quick weeknight dinner.

To drink: a lovely white Burgundy would be nice.

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