Friday Recipe Exchange: Sweet & Spicy From the Garden

jeffreyw pepper prep

Photo by JeffreyW

From our Food Godess, TaMara:

It’s that time of year again when fresh, local peaches are every- where and are a part of every meal at my house, so that had to be half of tonight’s exchange. The other half was inspired by JeffreyW once again tempting my taste buds with his pepper jellies. It’s been a crazy week here, between my birthday, work & getting the house puppy proofed there hasn’t been a lot of time for cooking, but tonight’s featured recipe is quick, easy and full of seasonal flavors. And peaches, lots of peaches.

Speaking of the puppy, I have no new pictures for you, but he’ll be here next week, so I’m pretty sure, mostly positive, even fairly certain, there will be puppy pictures by week’s end. On to the recipes…

If peaches are not your thing, JeffreyW has been busy making some of my favorite jelly. I love pepper jelly with cream cheese on crackers. Yum. And I envy his gardening and canning skills.

First his Red Ripe Jalapeno Jelly, recipe here.

And for his latest, Five Pepper Jelly, click here.

And of course he’s got terrific, mouth-watering photos for each.

Peaches don’t have to sweet to be delicious, they can be spicy, too. You can make a nice Peach Salsa (recipe here) or a tasty Peach Chutney to use with Grilled Pork Chops (complete dinner menu and recipes here).

Peaches are tasty with fish and Kirk Spencer has a great Peach Tilapia recipe here.

How about you, what’s on the menu this weekend? Anyone going to hangout and watch the meteor shower? Hit the comments with recipes and whatever.

The featured recipe tonight is Spinach Chicken Salad with Spicy Peach Dressing and it can be prepped ahead of time and makes a perfect dinner on one of those late summer nights when it’s still too hot to cook. The dressing will easily last a week in the refrigerator. And you can grill then refrigerate the chicken a night or two before when grilling another meal.

Spicy Peach Dressing

2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or Italian parsley)
salt and pepper to taste
1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, halved and seeded
1/2 cup olive oil

Purée all of the ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Continue to blend, on low, while adding oil slowly. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate. Shake well before serving.

Spinach Chicken Salad

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 lb cleaned baby spinach leaves
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1 peach, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese or chevre

Place the chicken in a plastic zipper bag with ½ cup of dressing. Marinate 2 hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken, discard marinade and grill until cooked through (170 degrees at center).

Toss the spinach, onion, walnuts and cheese with the remaining 3/4 cup dressing. Slice the grilled chicken and arrange on top of the salad.

Serving: 4 to 6

18 replies
  1. 1
    jeffreyw says:

    Settling in to watch Ginger kitteh stalk his new catnip toy after enjoying a nice salad and sammich.

  2. 2
    Keith P says:

    I’m marinating a chicken in some Middle Eastern spices and yogurt and will be cooking it over mesquite via rotisserie tomorrow afternoon (I saw Curb’s “Palestinian Chicken” ep last night, so I’ve been craving some chicken that has more than just salt, pepper, and thyme). Crossing my fingers that it’s good; for good measure, I’m roasting some eggplant over the mesquite for baba ganouj.

  3. 3
    Yatsuno says:

    @Keith P: If you can get a hold of some za’atar try that. It’s an amazing spice blend. And yes that Wiki article is awful.

  4. 4
    jeffreyw says:


    If you can get a hold of some za’atar try that. It’s an amazing spice blend.

    Never heard of it till now, but Amazon has a bunch of sellers touting it.

  5. 5
    Mike in NC says:

    The other night I chopped up some Serranto peppers and then I absentmindely rubbed my eyes before washing my hands. Great move!

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Just yum. Recipes look great. Peaches rule! Peppers too.

  7. 7
    SectionH says:

    @Mike in NC: Ouch! Mr S was chopping one of our Habaneros the first season we grew them, needed to pee, and went without washing his hands FIRST. Well. Let’s just say he didn’t make that mistake again.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    Minor in the grand scheme of things, but food related:

    Russia’s drastic ban on food imports from Europe has claimed it first victims — the rather choosy animals at Moscow zoo.
    Keepers at the zoo, one of Europe’s oldest, have been sent scrambling to adjust the menus for its animals, which rely heavily on Dutch vegetables and Polish apples.
    The apples are a particular favourite of the zoo’s bears, the animals that symbolise Russian virility and independence. Source

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    Adoi! I can feel his pain even on this side of the planet.

  10. 10
    opiejeanne says:

    @SectionH: We had a guest show up at a party with her hands on fire from chopping some kind of hot peppers without gloves. We gave her a bowl of milk to soak her hands in, and some aloe sunburn lotion.

    I’m very impressed with Jeffrey’s garden skills. He grew a beautiful, large bunch of habanero peppers and the photo is just gorgeous.

  11. 11
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: Aw man, not the animals.

    Don’t they grow apples somewhere in Russia?

  12. 12
    Keith P says:

    @Yatsuno: As luck would have it, that’s part of what I used (I also threw in some masala and fresh chopped mint).

  13. 13
    Yatsuno says:

    Not food related, but definite Richard Mayhew bait!

  14. 14
    PurpleGirl says:

    @opiejeanne: Poor finicky eaters. They’ve been spoiled.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    It’s Hatch chili season! Hot or mild–take your pick. Get them while they’re fresh!

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    @Mike in NC: I got this pepper plant that was billed as some kind of Italian yellow bell pepper plant with very sweet peppers. When the first one got big enough I harvested it, chopped it up and we were going to just eat it sliced.

    Before we got to eating it I noticed that my face was burning. Around my nose and eyes. Could not figure out what that was and knew it wasn’t from this sweet pepper. Took a bite of the pepper and it was sweet, just as billed. Another family member took a bite and said it was hot. No, I said, it was sweet. Tried it again–sweet.

    This went on for a bit until we finally figured out that the pepper itself was half and half. Part of it was sweet and part of it was hot. After checking Google to be sure and comparing photos, I confirmed that the pepper I had was indeed the pepper variety it was supposed to be and it was only supposed to be sweet. Somehow it had hybridized or cross-pollinated with some other pepper to create these bizarre half and half hot/sweet peppers.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @Violet: How they come out depends a lot on soil and weather too. I once planted what were supposed to be a sweet orange pepper that was hotter than hell. Turns out the sunny dry summer and my clay slightly alkaline soil makes for lovely hot peppers.

  18. 18
    barbcat says:

    Absolutely beautiful photograph. Stunning.

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