Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peaches & Tomatoes – A Combination Sure To Tickle Your Taste Buds

Farm stands are brimming with local peaches, tomatoes, and corn. In fact the peaches this year have been the best I’ve tasted in years. I’ve been using them in everything, and I do mean everything.

I’ve stumbled on a new taste discovery that tickled my taste buds and made me stand up and take notice. I use the word “stumble” because I didn’t actually discover it, I just happened upon it when I made a salsa with tomatoes and peaches for broiled salmon. 

What would summer be without peaches and tomatoes? Until recently, I’d never actually eaten them at the same time. The wonderful sweetness of ripe peaches and the rich, tangy flavors of local tomatoes are out of this world fabulous together. If you're skeptical, and I'm sure some of you are, before you try these recipes, slice a peach and a tomato, add a little fresh basil, a drizzle of oil, and some freshly ground black pepper, and give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Has anyone else tried peaches and tomatoes together?

You know what they say – what grows together, goes together.

Peach and Tomato Salad with Curry-Orange Vinaigrette
Adapted from an old magazine clipping of unknown origin

2 cups fresh orange juice (about 6 oranges)
1 tablespoon grape seed oil, or other neutral tasting oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 medium sized tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
3 medium sized fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh basil, julienned
Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the vinaigrette, bring the orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in curry powder and salt. Cool to room temperature.

When you are ready to serve, prepare the tomatoes and peaches and divide evenly among 6 salad plates. Drizzle the fruit with a little of the dressing, garnish with the basil, then grind a bit of freshly ground black pepper over each plate. Serves 6. You will have some vinaigrette left-over.

* * *
Here is a second recipe using tomatoes and peaches together. I’ve also included fresh corn, which is also in season. At our local farm stand we purchased some ears of bi-colored corn that the grower recommended. As we were paying, he told us that some corn today is being cross-pollinated with sugar cane to make it sweeter. I did some research and found that there are varieties of sugar-enhanced corn (most probably what we purchased) that are grown for retail sales and local markets, but I haven’t been able to confirm the information about cross-pollination. If you know anything about this, please share it. To compensate for the sweetness in the corn, I added a dash of hot sauce to the vinaigrette. Be sure to taste your corn first, and then added the optional hot sauce only if it needs it.

This stuffing is fabulous with the crunch of the cucumber and red onion mixed with the corn, peaches, and basil. I almost ate it all before I stuffed the tomatoes. It won’t hurt my feelings if you leave out the peaches, but I encourage you to give it a try as it is. Maybe your taste buds will tickle too.

Summer Stuffed Tomatoes 
From My Carolina Kitchen

4 smallish tomatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup chopped European seedless cucumber
1 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched
½ cup chopped red onion
2 small peaches, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Several dashes of hot sauce such as Tabasco, optional

Wash the tomatoes, then cut off the tops and carefully scoop out the flesh and seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle them with salt and turn them upside down on a paper towel so the excess water will drain out.

Combine the cucumber, corn and red onion in a bowl, and gently toss with a rubber spatula. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.

Just before serving, prepare the peaches and fresh basil and add to the vegetable mixture. Toss very gently with a rubber spatula, add the vinaigrette and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Again toss gently, then taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Stuff vegetables into the prepared tomatoes and serve at once. Makes 4 servings.


  1. Hello from Frog Hollow Farm! I love that saying - "what grows together goes together"! I will have to try this combination - I've just seen a salsa of peaches and tomatoes to serve with salmon myself, but the combination just didn't jump out as something we would like, but after reading your post I am ready to live a little dangerously and try it out! Ciao, bella! xxoo

  2. I like your saying also..and the photos.. I bet they do go together so well..Thanks for the ideas Sam~

  3. We have peaches and maters sitting on the counter but I would never have thought to put them together, but will try this. Really great presentation with your second dish. I can't help with the cane/corn cross question.

  4. That is an unusual combination. Your salad is so beautiful and appetizing!



  5. Me sceptical?? Never. I look forward to giving this a try. Sounds so fabulous. Beautiful photos!

  6. Sam, your photos are absolutely mouth watering. I never would have thought to combine tomatoes and peaches and anything that beautiful has to be delicious. Looking forward to trying it.

  7. Sam, never would have thought to pair the two in one dish. You have got my curiosity up now! Great photos too.

  8. The greenmarket at 30 Rock opens tomorrow. I'll be heading over with this recipe in hand!

  9. No, I have not tried the two together, but why not? Looks lovely.

  10. I mist admit to not having tried this combination together Sam but it sure does sound like a taste of summer!!!

  11. How could I have lived around fresh peaches and tomatoes and never have mixed them?? I am off to pick the basil and will do it the easy way for dinner as you suggested. Merci, mon amie!


  12. I'm tickled - and can't wait to try the combination. That first photo is so enticing, I'm actually drooling! LOVE 'what grows together, goes together'!

  13. This looks sinfully good. going for peaches tomorrow and you can be sure I will be trying this. Fantastic combination; I never would have thought of. Thanks for this Sam.

  14. What a great idea...peaches and tomatoes and both look delicious. I will definitely try the salad since I have all the ingredients for it. Beautiful pictures! Hope you are having a wonderful week Sam :-)

  15. Oh Sam! What beautiful and inspiring pictures full of vibrant colors. I'm especially love the recipe for the stuffed tomatoes. I agree with you too. What grows together goes together.

  16. I love your very inspired and creative tomato salads, I'm headed out the door to the farmers market in a few minutes where I will be, you guessed it, picking up peaches and tomatoes:-)

  17. My mouth can't imagine this taste so I'll have to try it for real. You haven't steered me wrong yet, Sam.

  18. Two terrific dishes - the combination of tomatoes and peaches sounds excellent. I like the addition of curry powder in the vinaigrette for the salad.

  19. I love the idea of combining peaches and tomatoes! The curry vinaigrette sounds great with them, but I am also thinking anything with basil would be interesting.

  20. My first reaction is hmmm, but I love all the ingredients and it's worth a try! It really looks delicious!

    Have a wonderful week!


  21. I agree with you that this summer's peaches have been some of the sweetest. Tomatoes are finally starting to come in after our very wet spring, and you have piqued my interest to try the two together - thanks!

  22. I know how great this combination is because I had your wonderful salmon with tomato peach salsa last night and had to restrain myself from licking the bowl!

  23. Now that you bring it up, why don't we think about putting tomatoes and peaches together? They are both summer fruits, after all. I love the curry orange juice vinaigrette - this must be a great summer side dish for something simple like grilled meats. And pretty cool stuffed tomatoes.

  24. what a wonderful combo. One I have never thought of but of course they would go good together. their sweetness and mild flavor is perfect. I love the color of the dish as well. just beautiful

  25. That looks yummy, Sam!
    I love your food shots - they're so well-staged and lighted.

    I think Meakin forgot the birthday of Mary Balzac this year? I heard stories... I think it was Mary!

  26. Yum! I do a peach caprese salad where I do peaches instead of the tomatoes all together and it's really good. So I love this!

  27. Oh what beautiful options we have for salad in Summer; this looks absolutely delicious and fresh!

  28. As some of the others commented, Sam, I would also never thought to pair these, but you've convinced me. Your photography is just stunning! Isn't this just the best season . . . well, at least for now!!!

  29. wow genius going to try this for sure, you are the salad queen

  30. That is a such beautiful salad and flavors I would have never thought to put together...summery and delicious!

  31. MMMMM!!! Going to the farmer's market this weekend. I might have to try a recipe or 2...

  32. A coworker brought me some peaches from her South Carolina trip and they were perfectly ripe, yum!

    That last plated picture is amazing in it's plating and photography. You guys did a WONDERFUL job on this one.

  33. With all the rain I just don't know when we will see local tomatoes and/or peaches but they will come, and I will be ready.

  34. A fantastic combination..it just shouts summer and health and fun and entertainment, Sam! And I can't think of a more compplimentary addition than salmon. Aren't those the most beautiful colors?


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