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Basil-Cinnamon Peaches

June/July 2006

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (11 votes)

Poaching the peach halves in their skins gives the syrup a rosy blush. It's perfect for dunking crunchy Polenta Biscotti.



READER'S COMMENT:
"These peaches, after chilling, were delicious. The important thing to do is make sure all the peaches are cooked enough. I had one that wasn't as ripe as the others and it should have been cooked just a few minutes longer than the...
Basil-Cinnamon Peaches Recipe

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 strips lemon zest (1-by-2-inch strips; see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 3-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 ripe but firm medium peaches, halved lengthwise and pitted
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Preparation

  1. Combine water, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a large nonreactive saucepan (see Note); bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Add peach halves. Return to a brisk simmer, cover the pan and simmer, turning the peaches occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with a skewer or paring knife and the skins are loosened, 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the peaches). Transfer the peaches to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Return the liquid to a boil and cook until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in basil and let cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes.
  3. Slip off and discard the peach skins. Place the peaches in a storage container and strain the cooled syrup over them. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to easily remove strips of the outer skin (zest), leaving the bitter white pith behind.
  • Note: A nonreactive pan—stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.

Nutrition

Per serving: 85 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 1 mg sodium; 100 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate


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