Peach season opens Wednesday, so here’s 5 Jewish summer recipes for you

Starting tomorrow, guests can pick peaches, blackberries and vegetables at the Belleville farm.


Jordan Palmer and JOANNA O'LEARY

Peaches and Jewish food may not seem like they are an obvious pairing, but trust us, that’s far from the truth. Salty pastrami, challah bread pudding, and even roast chicken get a perfect summer makeover with some peach flavor.

And, now is the perfect time to try out these five Jewish recipes with a peach twist to get you through the hot and humid months. That’s because peach season has arrived at Eckert’s Farm, the family farm and country store in Belleville, IL (951 S. Green Mount Rd., Belleville, IL 62220).

Wednesday, July 13 officially marks the return of Pick-Your-Own peaches. You’ll also find ripe blackberries and fresh veggies.

Pick-your-own peaches cost $1.99 per pound, blackberries are $4.99 per pound and vegetables are $14 for a half peck, $17 for a peck and $25 for a half bushel.

“This is always an exciting time of year because our guests can come to the farm in one trip and have three different Pick-Your-Own experiences,” says Chris Eckert, president of Eckert’s Inc. “It’s a full day of fun for the whole family and more than we’ve ever been able to offer guests in one visit.”

5 Jewish peach recipes

1. Peach Kugel from Witty in the City

The addition of peaches transforms traditional kugel from hearty, cold-weather comfort food to a refreshing side dish perfect for a cookout. Skip the canned variety in syrup when making this recipe in favor of fresh peaches with a deep yellow flesh that are just on the verge of overripe.

2. Peach Challah Bread Pudding With Salted Caramel from Bakes by Brown Sugar

To maximize their depth of flavor, peaches are first roasted before being folded into a rich custard of cream and chunks of challah. That preliminary step, plus assembling the caramel sauce, render this recipe more time-consuming than most, but oh-so-worth-it for this rich and complex dessert.  Looking to utilize even more seasonal fruit? Try this version that incorporates blueberries.

3. Peach and Pastrami Sandwiches With Peppery Mayo from Rhubarbians

I know, I know. It is borderline sacrilege and definitely unorthodox to dress a pastrami sandwich with anything besides mustard, let alone slices of fruit (and mayo-gasp!). But I am a firm believer that “new” and “different” aren’t always synonymous with “horrible,” so give peach a chance  this pastrami and peach combo from Rhubarbians may challenge your pastrami beliefs. And while you’re at it, eschew regular old rye for a bolder bread base, like seven-grain or walnut.

4. Roast Chicken With Peaches, Tomatoes, and Onions from Pure Wow

In this simple skillet supper, earthy roasted peaches well complement the fatty animal and vegetable notes of the chicken thighs cooked in olive oil and butter. Fruity sweetness from tomatoes balances the acidic tang of the sauteed red onions, while a scant amount of white wine deepens the dimension of the savory flavors.

5. Honey Cake With Peach and Pistachios from Delicious Magazine

Sure, traditional honey cake for Rosh Hashanah is classic and perfect. But honey cake studded with tree nuts and laced with orange flower nectar embodies an ideal sweet and salty confectionary treat. It’s incredibly moist, dense but not cloying, rendering it a fitting conclusion to light, weeknight dinner.