At the Table

Savoring Summer’s Peaches

By: Amber Chase
peaches in a blue carton

The Southern salute to peaches is well known, from the aptly named Peach State of Georgia to the Peachoid Water Tower in Gaffney, South Carolina. But what can peach patrons do when the crop is significantly affected by a rough winter? Stephen and Jessica Rose, owners of The Peach Truck in Nashville, share their take on a less-than-amiable winter and its affects on the 2023 peach crop. With multiple nights dipping into the mid-20s after a fairly warm winter weather, many peach blossoms were killed. The mild winter also kept the trees from going fully dormant, making the later onset of frost more devastating. The crop itself was heavily impacted, making fresh Southern peaches a sweet gold that is far more rare this summer. Though it may not be the most bountiful or beautiful peach harvest this year, the Roses and other growers hope that buyers will have a little extra gratitude when stumbling upon a basket or two.

If you’re able to hunt down a handful of these Southern-grown rarities, we recommend the following: Set aside a selection of one or two and enjoy à la carte—those peaches are survivors and deserve a spotlight. Then, peruse our recipes below for inspiration to incorporate peaches into everything from gazpacho to hot sauce.

8 Recipes Showcasing Peaches

Summer Peach pie in a glass bowl with peaches and a napkin beside it

Almost Summertime Peach Pie

Who says we can’t enjoy peaches all year round? Savor the summer goods by freezing a pre-prepped peach pie. Simply toss peaches in sugar, tapioca starch, and lemon juice and store in a freezer bag. When ready to bake, transfer your mixture into a prepared crust to enjoy Georgia’s finest every season.

peach and tomato on toast with a fork next to it

Tomato & Peach Toast

Dive into this crisp and crunchy recipe from chef Derick Wade of The Darling Oyster Bar in Charleston. Find the perfect balance of sweet and savory from goat cheese, mint, shallot, and the season’s finest fruit for the best of both worlds.

a cocktail made with peaches with a sprig of mint on top

Folly Peach Cocktail

Give your summer peach a little liquid courage by combining tequila, lime juice, Aperol, and peach shrub in a shaker. Shake and garnish with fresh mint, sure to save any drinker from a Southern scorcher. Make it at home or find it at Herd Provisions.

hot sauce made with peaches with ginger and habaneros next to the jar

Habanero Peach Hot Sauce

This fire and ice duo will take your average summer peach to a whole new level. You may be surprised at how many key ingredients you already have at home for this recipe—think cumin, honey, cilantro, and lime juice.

a peach next to a peach cocktail

Son of a Peacher Man Cocktail

This drink from Harold’s Cabin may be the only one that can save us from the sweet summer heat. Shake up your basic peach bellini with ingredients like chipotle-infused bourbon and peach purée.

a peach pavlova

Peach Pavlova

The owners of The Peach Truck in Nashville share this fluffy and fresh pavlova recipe from their iconic cookbook that is sure to make for an unforgettable seasonal treat. Because let’s be real…nothing quite beats peaches and cream in the summertime.

a bowl of peach and tomato gazpacho

Peach and Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

Taste this bright and slightly sweet dish from chef Chris Rainosek of The Noble South in Mobile, Alabama. Not only does the recipe take advantage of the season’s juiciest, but it also calls for the help of lump crab meat to truly top off this Southern masterpiece.

a small bowl of peach vinaigrette by some flowers

Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette

Make this peachy accompaniment from chef Rachel Blumenstock of Cru Café the star of the show. Drizzle onto a fresh salad, marinate meat for the grill, or spread onto a crisp veggie wrap. Bonus: Most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen.

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Pastry chef Caitlyn Cox calls herself the “modern grandmother of baking” Here she share four spins on sweet and savory pie recipes.

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An elusive summertime luxury, squash blossoms offer colorful, crunchy, sweet, and delectable bites to a range of summer dishes.

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