Skillet Peaches with Basil & Balsamic Reduction

summer dessertLast Saturday was eventful and likely one I will remember for years to come. We met our friends at a wonderful restaurant, Olazzo, in Bethesda MD. This restaurant does not advertise that they serve gluten free pasta but they do! I had seen someone mentioning it online and called to confirm. I liked everything about this place from the decor to the menu. I grew up eating primarily Italian cuisine, everything about it tastes like home to me! To be able to eat out at an Italian restaurant, pretty cool. summer gluten free dessert

But what made the evening eventful was the massive thunderstorm that began immediately after we left the restaurant. Our cars were only parked one block away and we couldn’t get to them. The storm was too intense. Initially we thought we could make a run for it but as we ran the storm picked up and we had to hang out in an alcove about 180 yards from the garage. We could see the water rising on the street and spent about 10-15 minutes waiting it out. Eventually the storm had a quiet moment and we made a mad dash for the garage. But wait! This was my birthday dinner with our friends and gosh darn it we needed to go to Georgetown Cupcake to get dessert! So I drove us slowly the one mile to the bakery, parked, and then ran again through the rain and ENORMOUS pools of standing water. We must have been a sight to see because the entire staff was bewildered at our appearance and perhaps our determination. Damn that cupcake was good. closeupbasil

Back to food! For an appetizer at Olazzo they had grilled peaches with candied pecans, basil, a chianti balsamic reduction, and goat cheese. Incredible. Naturally I had to recreate this at home but with minor alterations based on what I had on hand. Instead of grilling the peaches I put them in my little cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes on each side. Didn’t have pecans but I think almonds and peaches are pretty good friends. No chianti so I just used balsamic vinegar that I reduced in a pan. I also didn’t have goat cheese! How is this the same recipe!?!??! Well it isn’t, I whipped up some whipping cream and my mid morning snack was off the charts awesome.

whipped cream peachesThis is easily shared as an appetizer between 2-4 people but I ate this all on my own because it was amazing. The steps seem like a lot but they are each really quick. If you don’t want to have candied almonds just serve with plain almonds. Or pecans!

Skillet Peaches with Basil & Balsamic Reduction
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A quick refreshing dessert with fresh peaches, basil, balsamic reduction, candied almonds, and whipped cream.
Serves: 2-4
  • ⅛ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 6 almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 3 basil leaves
  • ¼ cup whipped cream
  1. In a small pot bring the balsamic vinegar to boil. This is a small amount so it will reduce very quickly. You want a sticky syrup to remain, set aside.
  2. In another small pot bring the water and maple syrup to boil. Add the almonds and coat. If liquid remains drain and set the almonds aside.
  3. Place the sliced peach in a small skillet and heat a few minutes turning once.
  4. Off heat drizzle the balsamic reduction over the peaches and sprinkle with the almonds. Place the basil on top and serve with the whipped cream.

skillet peaches