The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Sept. 10 will feature a list of upcoming food and wine events in the Pacific Northwest. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
Seared White Nectarines and Burnt Honey
A great white nectarine is unforgettable‹sweet, floral, with hints of burnt sugar, qualities that can be easily overpowered. A quick sear in a little butter heightens caramel notes, keeps raw flavors intact, and protects the fruit from discoloring, which means you can prepare this simple dessert ahead. Use a full-flavored honey, such as earthy buckwheat.
Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons full-flavored honey, warmed
2 tablespoons water or dessert wine such as muscat
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
4 fresh bay leaves (optional)
4 ripe nectarines or peaches, halved and pitted
Boysenberries, blackberries, or raspberries
In a small bowl, stir together the honey and water. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Film the pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter and add the bay leaves. When the butter sizzles and the bay leaves start to blister, add half of the fruit, cut side down. Cook until the cut surface is browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fruit, cut side up, and the bay leaves to a platter. Repeat with remaining fruit and 1 teaspoon butter.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour the honey mixture into the pan. Stir, scraping up any brown bits, and then simmer until deep brown, about 2 minutes. To serve, divide the fruit among dessert plates, lightly drizzle the fruit with the honey, and then scatter the berries around the fruit.
How to Choose White Nectarines: Look for burgundy-russet rather than pink tones to the blush and dusky gold skin tones. Some sugar cracking is fine.
Cook's Tip: In autumn, sear buttery D'Anjou pears.
From: The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman.