If I were to give you a peach and tell you it was basically a tomato, you would look at me with concern. and you would be wrong to do so. No, the two fruits don’t taste all that much alike – a peach is sweet and “fruity” in the classical sense, while the tomato is noticeably tangy and packed with savory glutamates, which is why so many of us think of it as a vegetable. Yet a peach can be used a lot like a tomato, whether in a sandwich, a salad, salsa, or even a pasta sauce.
Instead of a BLT, make a BLP
Fruit and salty meat are a proven, winning pair (think prosciutto con molone), and swapping out the standard tomato for a juicy peach gives you a sweeter, but just as satisfying summer sandwich. Build the sandwich like you normally would – including the mayo – layering on slices of peaches instead of tomatoes. If your peach is super sweet and you miss the acid brought by its red cousin, toss the lettuce with a little champagne vinegar to make things tangier.
Make a fruity salsa
This fruity corn salsa calls for strawberries and watermelon, but you can swap one (or both) out for peaches. The sweet and slightly tart fruit holds its own against spicy chiles and herbs while offering soft textural contrast for the crisp, fresh corn. Pile it on a crunchy tortilla chip for a pleasing bite.
Make a peach caprese salad
Stone fruits of all kinds, including peaches, plums, pluots, and nectarines, can slide in between slices of fresh mozz and basil leaves much like tomato would. The result is a sweeter, fruitier take on the classic caprese, and it rules. Though balsamic isn’t a must in a caprese made with really good tomatoes, it’s crucial here, as you need that hit of acid to balance the sweetness and keep the salad from becoming cloying.
Photo by Taylor Kiser
Make a fruity pasta sauce
This recipe, inspired by the Smitten Kitchen zucchini butter pasta, is one of my new favorites. Made with peaches, brown butter, and red pepper flakes, it tastes kind of like butternut squash on a summer vacation. Like the Smitten Kitchen pasta, this one is much greater than the sum of its parts might suggest; unlike the fussier Smitten Kitchen pasta, it comes together in about 15 minutes.