Use Peaches In Your Next Bruschetta For Even More Summery Flavor

Bruschetta with peaches, cheese, thyme and honey
Bruschetta with peaches, cheese, thyme and honey - Elena Verba/Shutterstock

The Italian appetizer known as bruschetta (bru-SKE-tah) may call to mind a singular preparation, made with marinated tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, basil, and sometimes onions. This combination is then served simply on toasted bread of some kind, and when tomatoes are in season, it makes for a true celebration of natural goodness.

That said, bruschetta as a culinary creation (which has roots as far back as the 15th century in Italy) has evolved into a super simple and easily adaptable blueprint: toasted bread topped with something delicious. Creative bruschetta toppings can range from Sicilian-style eggplant caponata to seafood like shrimp or other proteins like pancetta or prosciutto.

The beauty of this dish is that it's a perfect platform to honor just about any ingredient, and when summer comes around, perhaps no piece of produce deserves that pedestal as much as the mighty peach. Peach bruschetta is ideal for warm weather gatherings, and couldn't be simpler to prepare.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Selecting Ingredients

Woman choosing peaches
Woman choosing peaches - Goodlifestudio/Getty Images

Like all super simple dishes with a scant few elements, the quality of your ingredients makes a big difference here, as you have nothing to hide behind. With that in mind, choose peaches that are firm and unblemished but give a little when pressed, and that have a sweet and pronounced fragrance. At this stage, you'll be able to cut them into tender cubes that aren't too crunchy or overly mushy. If your peaches don't feel sweet or soft enough, you can grill them quickly to concentrate some of those sugars and even add a delicious complementary char (which also brings a smoky summer twist to your salad).

For bruschetta, the bread you choose should be able to stand up to the topping without getting too soggy. Ciabatta, sourdough, or a baguette are all great candidates that are neutral enough not to interfere with your topping. Go for a good quality extra virgin olive oil that adds peppery, grassy notes.

If you're really a lover of the classic Italian bruschetta, there's no need to abandon your tomatoes; they pair well with peaches, so you can combine them — or even swap in some sun-dried tomatoes for a savory boost and textural contrast, too. And if you're not a fan of peach, this preparation is just as satisfying with another fruit of your choosing. Apricots, plums, and nectarines are all great substitutions, but you can even lean toward a tropical vibe with mango or pineapple.

Personalizing Your Peach Bruschetta

Peach bruschetta with prosciutto
Peach bruschetta with prosciutto - iuliia_n/Shutterstock

When it comes to your peach bruschetta game, perfection is in the eye of the preparer. You can keep it extremely simple, opting to toss pieces of the diced fruit, olive oil, and salt on the toasted bread, and let your produce do the dazzling. But there are so many ways to make this more personalized. Add ribbons of basil, just as you would with tomatoes, or another herb that pairs well with peach, like mint, thyme, or tarragon.

Peaches are also perfect with spreadable cheeses like chèvre, cream cheese, or ricotta. Flakey sea salt adds tiny pops of texture along with flavor, but if you want to amp up the crunch factor, toasted nuts like pecans and pistachios play really well with stone fruits, as do slivered or crushed almonds (as almonds are relatives of peaches), and even sesame seeds. In addition to cheese and nuts, you can layer on the protein by adding strips of salty prosciutto, cubes of crispy pancetta, or classic bacon. A drizzle of floral honey brings sweetness and depth, while hot honey also adds a pleasant kick (or you can also sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste, if you prefer).

And you don't have to stop during the summer season, either. This idea also works with preserved peaches, which will have you tasting the sunny days long after the last fruit of the season has been picked. At the end of the day at any time of year, peach bruschetta brings big summer vibes and major flavor.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.