Labor Day weekend in the U.S. is thought of as the last big holiday of the summer, and as such, it’s a popular weekend for cookouts and pool parties. I don’t have a pool or a BBQ, but I do have a grill pan in my kitchen, a terrace, and friends and family willing to taste spontaneously made desserts – a.k.a. tests. This morning I made Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios in 10 minutes, start to finish. Delicious, simple, and a way to “eat down the fridge” – a phrase I heard years ago from chef, teacher and writer Kim O’Donnell. It translated to me to mean use up what you have and don’t waste.
Saying goodbye to summer is hard for me. I’m that person who loves hot and humid weather. Cooler temperatures and shorter days are attached to memories of getting organized for the start of the school year. While I don’t have children at home any longer and I am not in school, I still start organizing for the new season and go first into the kitchen.
This morning, while having my espresso and picking the cherry tomatoes from my little plant, I started thinking about Labor Day Weekend and how I might use up bits of this and that in my refrigerator. I came up with a new simple to make recipe that is highly adaptable – Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios. Are you wondering about this photo? Read on.
In the refrigerator, I found 2 peaches, 1/2 container each of vegan cream cheese and silken tofu, and very small containers of chopped nuts. I knew I could come up with something, but what? I went to have my espresso on my terrace and looking at my small basil plant, I got it – let’s go in an Italian direction with Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios. The pistachios could be swapped out for chopped almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts, or even biscotti crumbs, and the almond extract might be swapped out another time for Frangelico or Ameretto. You get the point, right? No peaches? Grill nectarines! Honestly, this dish would be good with fresh fruit if you don’t want to heat up a grill.
Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios
- 4 ounces vegan cream cheese
- 4-5 ounces (1/3-1/2 box) firm or extra firm silken tofu
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I use fresh squeezed)
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon guar gum optional
- 3/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, more to taste, or add some liqueur
- 4 peaches washed, cut in half, pit removed
- Just enough neutral vegetable oil or maple syrup to coat the cut sides
Process the cream cheese and tofu in a food processor until creamy. Add the reset of the ingredients and pulse a few times, and then process for half a minute until everything is mixed and creamy. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Process again for 30 seconds or more until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more sugar, lemon, extract.
Pour into a container and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend while you grill the peaches.
The cream will thicken a bit.
Heat grill or grill pan to high. Place the peaches, cut side down on the grill and grill until grill marks appear and the peaches are just warmed through. Don’t overcook them.
Spoon and spread some of the sauce in the center of a shallow soup plate or any plate.
Place 2 pieces of the grilled peaches on the sauce.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts, or cake or cookie crumbs.
Garnish with a few pieces of basil or mint. Use what you have on hand.
Other desserts that are perfect for Labor Day weekend include Watermelon Granita with Chocolate Seeds, Chocolate Espresso Gelato, Chocolate Margarita Ice Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with a Chocolate Shell.
Enjoy the weekend. Let’s end food waste deliciously.