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Girls’ Night in 5: Grilled Peaches with Balsamic and Blue Cheese
Girls’ Night in 5 is a monthly “how-to” series containing Girls’ Night friendly recipes with 5 or fewer ingredients and no more than 5 minutes of active prep! This series is part of my mission to simplify entertaining to encourage readers to invest in their community through hosting and loving people well.
Summer fruit, summer bubbles, and a grill. A grill? That doesn’t sound like a girls’ night in to me. But, stay with me ladies…. We are talking grilled peaches! *Cue the nodding of heads from everyone familiar with the wondrous flavor and luxurious texture of a grilled peach.* You absolutely do not have to be grilling genius to make these. If you can light charcoal on fire or flip the switch of your gas grill to make your grill reach anywhere in the vicinity of 300 degrees, then you can grill a peach. And lets be real, we are really just heating a peach, so that some of the sugars caramelize and it registers as being warmed when it hits my tongue.
Everything else is sprinkled or drizzled on top and voila! Decadent girls night treat that lands somewhere between a savory dessert and a summery appetizer. In other words, its the perfect girls night treat – especially when you can’t decide between sweet or savory.
The balsamic can be added straight from the bottle, or you can reduce it a bit over the stove like I did before drizzling. Its cuts the acidity and helps the some of the vinegar’s sugars really pop. It also thickens the vinegar up a bit, which I love for times when I don’t want something drenched in balsamic. You can do this by swirling balsamic around a pan over high heat for 3-5 minutes until its reduced by roughly 1/2. Then bottle it up and keep it on hand for drizzling on salads, or ya know, over grilled peaches! Its liquid magic!
As always, my girls’ night recipes are kept to 5 minutes of prep and 5 ingredients. And these bites of heaven stay true to that promise. I would plan on 1 whole peach per person. So 2 of the halves pictured per lady. Volume-wise it might seem like a lot of food for a girls night, but 90%+ of that volume is just the peach, which certainly won’t be filling anyone up;)
Wine Pairing Suggestion: So, I had to choose between wines that pair well with peaches and those that pair well with bleu cheese. Since its summer and seasonal fruit is the name of the game, I opted for wine pairings that will really help highlight the flavors in the fruit. I’m going to pose two options. One not bubbly. One bubbly. But both will are made from Muscato grapes. Muscato wines are known for having a very fruity and floral aroma which makes them an excellent wine for pairing with fruit. Originally produced in the not-at-all-coincidentally named Muscat region of Italy, but grown in many regions of the world, Muscato wines are widely considered a dessert wine. For a non-bubbly option, opt for a muscato blanc or a rose moscato – if you can find it. The most common type of moscato however is my bubbly recommendation! Moscato d’Asti! This variety is still commonly produced in Italy.
Cheers to a fabulous girls night with your best ladies!
- 1 peach per person
- 1 tsp. balsamic reduction* (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tbsp. each: blue cheese, chopped toasted almonds, and coarsely chopped mint leaves
*To make a balsamic reduction: Pour 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over high heat. Bring it to a boil swirling occasionally. When reduced by roughly 1/2 (about 5 minutes), pour the reduced balsamic into a heat-proof bowl. Once cooled to room temperature cover or transfer to a pourable bottle for future uses. This amount will be more than you need for the peaches, but it is excellent on a great many things including salads and heirloom tomatoes.
Prepare charcoal or gas grill and heat until roughly 300. It doesn't have to be exact, since we are just looking for a bit of sugar caramelization and a slight textural softening of the peach. Paint a bit of olive or canola oil on the grill grates to prevent the peaches from sticking.
Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Once grill has heated, place them cut-side down and grill for 2 - 2.5 minutes, then flip and grill for another 2 minutes.
Top peach halves as desired with toppings above. I suggest drizzling a bit of the balsamic reduction over the peach directly before adding additional toppings then adding a couple additional drops of balsamic once the toppings have been added. Serve immediately.