Here in our home, peach season is an exciting time. No matter how big dinner is, we can always be found eating a huge bowl of Red Haven peaches and ice cream for dessert. And when I say a huge bowl, I mean a salad bowl! Unfortunately, it means that you must give way for the “fat” jeans at the bottom of the dresser drawer for a couple of weeks. It’s okay…. it will be worth it – guaranteed!
Peach picking is truly an art: carefully creeping under the tree so as not to disturb the fruit, you look up to find a nice rosy-red peach bottom. When found, carefully look around at it to make sure there’s no mold or blemishes. Lightly press your fingers to feel how soft the flesh is – too soft is okay if your going to eat it right away, but hard flesh means it isn’t quite ripe. You want to feel for flesh that slightly gives way to your pressure. If it passes the test, gently grab it at the top and ever-so-gently twist it off the branch, and voila!
Last summer I found an AMAZING recipe for extra peaches that couldn’t fit in our ice cream bowls the night before. It’s an adapted recipe from Real Simple magazine. My recipe includes as many local and fresh ingredients as possible, too. The pork was grown in Oregon, the peaches are from Sauvie Island, the Walla Walla onions are from nearby Washington, and the basil is from the farmer’s market.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 bone-in pork chops (3/4 inch thick; about 2 pounds total)
2 peaches, cut into wedges (we prefer the Red Haven variety)
1 small Walla Walla onion, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 shiitake or crimini mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper