Sautéed Peaches with Pan-Roasted Walnuts


The original plan for the Tarrytown farmers market was to follow the recipe I had written a week before. This is the plan for all the Markets, actually, but one of the glories of shopping straight from a farm is that you never know what you’re going to get. I had a good idea that I was going to find some peaches, but I hadn’t planned on being seduced by the blueberries all lined up and wanting to be thrown in.

This made for a great teaching experience. As people would come up to my table for a sample, they’d grab a recipe card, read it, then look into the pan which once the blueberries are added turned the peaches a beautiful shade of purple, and say, “The recipe doesn’t say blueberries.”

Cooking from a market is an awesome exercise in fearlessness. Pick some flavor direction, flip through a magazine, a cookbook, this website, get some inspiration and go forward thinking, how bad could it be?!

I’ve tried to make the necessary adjustments in the printed recipe below. But don’t follow it to the letter! Go down to your market, find what looks good, decide on sweet or savory and go fearlessly into the kitchen.

Seriously, how bad could it be?

Sautéed Peaches with Pan-Roasted Walnuts

Serves 4

1/ 2 cup chopped Cashews – the nut guy didn’t have any walnuts

4 large, not even close to ripe peaches

4 T butter

1/3 cup sugar – I never even opened the container. Taste the fruit and decide if you want to omit this all together

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground coriander I had no measuring spoons, just a pinch or two of each

1 pint blueberries

2 T brandy, rum, or orange-flavored liquor (optional) I used water

1. Heat a dry, clean sauté pan over high. Add the walnuts and stir constantly until the walnuts start to toast and become aromatic. My cashews were all ready roasted so I skipped this step, after publicly burning the first attempt at a re-roast Pour onto a cookie sheet and spread out to cool. Wipe out the sauté pan and return to the stove.

2. Slice or dice the peaches. Melt the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon and coriander. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peaches and cook until they just begin to brown and are tender, about 5 minutes. Here’s where I added some water. Being that my peaches were under ripe, they had no liquid of their own to give up. Add the blueberries, a few at a time, until it looks like enough.

3. Turn off the heat and stir in the 2 T of brandy, rum, or orange liquor. (NOTE: Forgetting to turn off heat may result in a flame. Don’t panic. Chef’s do this on purpose all the time. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid.) Stir in the walnuts. Or cashews.

4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or pound cake or both!

Or, substitute salt and pepper for cinnamon and nutmeg, still use the coriander, and serve over pork chops, chicken, duck, fish, whatever looks good at the market that day.

  • Caryn

    I added cloves to this dish for a wonderful flavor!