These roasted peach toasts are what we ate on Valentine’s day this past weekend. My partner and I don’t strictly celebrate Valentine’s day as a concept – our anniversary is in March so we don’t want to overshadow it by celebrating early, and I’m also a bit perplexed by the idea of everyone trying to be spontaneous, intimate and romantic at the same time! Even so, this certainly seemed like a romantic dish to share, so decided to share it with you today.
Late summer is the peak of peach season, and I have been enjoying some lovely local organic peaches recently. Roasting them, as done here, brings out their sweetness via caramelisation as well as intensifying their flavour by reducing their water content. Paired with a vanilla-scented “ricotta” made from macadamias and sweetened with maple syrup, it is a match made in dairy-free heaven! For the toast I use a Casalinga-style sourdough bread by my favourite bakery in Melbourne called Baker D Chirico, but you can use your favourite crusty bread or a gluten-free bread, if needed.
I was tempted to call this a roasted peach bruschetta, but for one – I’m not that cute, and secondly – I’m not sure that would be entirely culturally accurate as to what bruschetta actually means… So “toasts” it is! Naming this dish was the only difficulty – this really is a recipe of ease with high rewards. I hope you’ll give it a go! xx
Titbit: The peach (prunus persica) is believed to originally hail from China, where it still grows wild in rural areas. The fruit travelled with merchants through to Greece via Iran in 300BC, and then on to Italy in 100AD*. It’s understandable how this intoxicating fruit became so popular and cultivated the world over. They’re a great source of vitamin A, C and potassium, and their aromatic taste and charming fuzzy texture make them a highlight of summer produce. Peaches are commonly one of the fruits most heavily sprayed with pesticides in Australia and the USA**, so choose organic if possible.
Roasted Peach Toasts with Vanilla Macadamia Ricotta
You could easily substitute any seasonal stone fruit here – just adjust cooking times according to the size of the fruit. You could also serve the peaches in as the last photo above, with a scoop of ricotta in their cavity rather than on toast.
Serves 4 hungry people, 8 not-so-hungry people.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
700g | 4 large ripe peaches
2 tsp coconut oil (melted) or macadamia oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
20ml | 1 tbls pure maple syrup
Vanilla Macadamia Ricotta
2 cups | 260g raw macadamias
625ml | 2.5 cups water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp lemon juice
30ml | 1.5 tbls pure maple syrup
8 pieces of your favourite crusty bread (gluten-free if needed)
Fresh basil leaves, torn up if large (optional)
For the peaches: Set your oven to 200C.
Cut your peaches in half, twist to separate and remove the stone. Lay them cut side up in a baking dish or deep roasting pan.
In a small bowl mix the melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup, before drizzling it in the peaches – covering their cut surface and filling their cavities.
Bake in the oven for 25min, or till they are cooked through but still holding their shape.
Will keep up to 5 days, covered and refrigerated.
To make the ricotta: Blend the macadamias and water in a high-speed blender till smooth – 2-3 min. Use a nut milk bag or very fine cheesecloth to drain out 2 cups (500ml) of liquid from the ricotta – use a bowl to catch this milk and reserve it for use in coffee or smoothies. You will need to gently squeeze the bag or cloth to extract the milk.
Place the remaining macadamia pulp in a small bowl and stir through the vanilla, lemon juice and maple syrup. If you find it is a little dry you can add back in some of the reserved milk till it is a spreadable consistency (this will depend on the dryness of your macadamias, add only a tablespoon at a time).
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, will keep for 3 days.
To serve: Lightly toast your bread and spread each with the ricotta. Place half a peach on top cut side up, and sprinkle with basil leaves, if using. Serve at once.
Alternatively, serve the roasted peaches with a scoop of the ricotta in their cavity, for a bread-free / paleo-friendly version (see last photo above).
Follow along with me on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook!
- “The Origin of Peaches”
** “12 foods worth buying organic and others that aren’t worth the expense”