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The Sticky Sweetness of Summer: Peaches at the Farmers Market

by Borderstan.com June 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"Peaches"

What you’ll need to make a Sweet and Savory Peach and Barley Salad.
 (Chelsea Rinnig)

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT}borderstan.com

There’s nothing more reminiscent of summer vacation than eating a ripe peach–the kind that bursts as soon as your teeth break into the fuzzy skin, oozing syrupy juice between your fingers.

In my humble opinion, if you have to pick and choose what to buy, put down that bundle of kale for the umpteenth month in a row and go ahead and buy a pound (or five) of peaches. Stone fruits are just coming into their peak at the market, be it in the sour June cherries or the abundance of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots that will be around for the next couple of months.

The peaches at market right now are so fragrant and ripe that it’s a challenge to resist eating them right on the spot. I hardly had the patience as a child and certainly don’t all these years later (*see recent blotchy orange stains in my laundry).

However, if you manage to get some home, I personally recommend trying out your peaches in a savory dish.  They are wonderful roasted–on top of salads or pizza–and this time I put mine into a healthy, barley-based grain salad that utilizes the sweet juice of the peaches in place of any dressing whatsoever. You will be the envy of all your coworkers when you bring leftovers in for lunch. All of the ingredients in this recipe can be found at the Dupont Farmers Market on Sundays!

Sweet and Savory Peach and Barley Salad

Serves 3 as an appetizer or 2 for lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe peach
  • 2 sweet red onions
  • ½ cup uncooked, hulled barley
  • 1 bunch purple basil (though green works too)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Oil of your preference (I used flaxseed oil)
  • A couple handfuls of greens such as spinach or chopped romaine lettuce

Preparation 

  1. Rinse and drain the uncooked barley under cold water. Bring three parts water to one part barley to a boil and reduce to a simmer. It will take about an hour for the barley to fully absorb the water.
  2. Wash and pat dry basil. Finely chop onions and basil. Combine with oil, salt, pepper and cooked barley.
  3. Cup peach away from the pit into chunks.
  4. Serve grain mixture over bed of greens and top with peaches, serve and revel!

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