Grilled Peaches with Grilled Walnut Bread
The heat from the grill caramelizes the peaches and gives them a distinctive smoky flavor. This is a wonderful dessert, summer or winter, with grilled peaches served on grilled walnut bread with whipped cream, balsamic vinegar, and peach-walnut chutney. The chutney also makes a good accompaniment for grilled poultry or fish. It may be made, without the walnuts, up to a week in advance and kept refrigerated; add the walnuts before serving. This recipe makes 1-3/4 cups of chutney.
- Chicken stock, or water - 2 cups
- Sugar - 2 cups
- Vanilla bean - 1/2, split lengthwise
- Cinnamon Stick - 1
- Garlic Cloves - 2 whole
- Allspice - 1 whole
- Ripe peaches - 4, peeled, pitted, and halved
- Peach-Walnut Chutney
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Onion - 1/2 cup, diced
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Raisins - 1/4 cup
- Tomato - 1/2 small, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Peach - 1 large, peeled and diced
- Vanilla Syrup - 1/2 cup, reserved from poached peaches above
- Dry Red Wine - 1/2 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Walnuts - 1/4 cup, coarsely chopped, toasted
- Walnut Bread - four, 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons, at room temperature
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sweetened Whipped Cream - 1 cup
- Mint sprigs - 4
- Walnuts - 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped, toasted
- Fresh Berries - 1/4 cup (optional)
To prepare the peaches: Combine the water and sugar in a medium non-aluminum saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peach halves and simmer for 3 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender; the amount of time will depend on the ripeness of the peaches. Remove the pan from the heat and let the peaches cool in the syrup. Drain, reserving both the peaches and the syrup separately.
To make the chutney: Melt the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add all the remaining ingredients except the walnuts. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer the chutney for about 20 minutes, or until thickened; stir frequently, especially towards the end of the cooking time, to ensure against scorching. Add the walnuts and simmer 5 minutes. Set aside.
To assemble: Light a fire in a charcoal grill. Rub the peaches and the slices of walnut bread with the softened butter. When the coals are lightly covered with grey ash, grill the peaches, cut-side down, for 2 minutes. Turn them gently with tongs and grill for an additional 1-1/2 minutes. Grill the bread on the edge of the grill rack for 30 to 45 seconds on each side, or until just toasted.
To serve: Cut each slice of walnut bread in half on the diagonal and place a peach half on each slice. Spoon 3 tablespoons peach-walnut chutney on each of 4 serving plates and surround it with two peach-topped slices of bread. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar around the chutney on each plate and garnish with the whipped cream, mint sprigs, more chopped walnuts, and optional berries.