It looks like it’s going to be an especially sweet year for peaches and nectarines at Baird Family Orchards, where farmer Trevor Baird anticipates that peaches will be available through the end of September, and possibly into early October.
“Our season started off with a smaller crop and smaller fruit, but as we moved into August, the fruit got bigger and sweeter” says Trevor. “Our fruit has been exceptional this year!”
Several varieties of peaches are still available: August Lady, September Reds, Sweet Henry and Valley Sweet along with Red Gold nectarines. You’ll find the Baird Family Orchard stand – and tasty samples to try – at these Portland Farmers Market locations:
- Pioneer Courthouse Square (Monday, 10 am to 2 pm)
- Shemanski Park (Wednesdays, 10 am to 2 pm)
- Northwest Portland (Thursdays, 2 pm to 6 pm)
- Portland State University (Saturdays, 8:30 am to 2 pm)
Baird peaches are guaranteed delicious any way you eat them…but let’s be honest…if you haven’t tried grilled peaches, you’re missing out! Grilling the fruit over a flame lightly caramelizes its natural sugars and intensifies its juices. One of Trevor’s favorite grilled peach recipes (below) combines just the right amount of sweet and savory flavors to bring out the best peach flavor. Try it with the August Lady peaches!
With Blue Cheese and Blackberries
Recipe from Trevor Baird, Baird Family Orchards
Makes 4 servings
¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
4 medium peaches, firm but ripe, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 ounces soft blue cheese or other soft cheese*
2 cups blackberries
Note: If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, fill the peaches with ricotta, goat or any soft cheese of your choosing.
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, simmer the vinegar until it has reduced by half and is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the honey, season with pepper, and set the pan aside
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or pre-heat a gas grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil the grill grate.
In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the beach halves on the grill grate, cut side down, and cook until the flesh is caramelized, about 4 minutes.
Use tongs to flip the peaches over, and fill each cavity with about ¼ ounces or a generous tablespoon of the cheese. Continue to grill until the peaches brown and soften on the bottom without falling apart, 3 to 4 minutes.
To serve, place 2 peach halves on each of 4 plates. Garnish them generously with blackberries, and drizzle the balsamic syrup over the top.
You’ll find this and other delicious recipes in the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook! Order yours today!