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National Peach Month

    Photo by Grace Parisi

    It's National Peach Month!

    Hello Peaches? The ‘90s called. They want their fruit salsa back.

    All snarkiness aside, fruit salsa is a perfect — and timeless — condiment for summertime seafood, especially if it’s hot off the grill. The combination of sweet, fragrant fruit and smoky, grilled fish is intoxicating and evocative. Tropical fruits served with flame-kissed rockfish may transport you to Key West or the Caribbean, whereas a spicy fresh fruit chutney served alongside char-grilled spot shrimp might take you to Southeast Asia. And of course let’s not forget SoCal fish tacos with blackened white fish and spicy fruit and jalapeño salsa.

    Because August is National Peach Month, I’d love to share my favorite peachy salsa, salad, and chutney with you to serve with your grilled (or roasted, pan-seared, or fried) fish or shrimp this summer.

    Wishing you all a very peachy August!


    Nuoc Cham Peach Salsa

    This simple, fresh fruit salsa, with a hit of Asian fish sauce and mint is delicious on grilled shrimp, halibut, or other white fish.

    Makes 1½ cups

    • 1 small garlic clove, minced
    • 1 small serrano chile, seeded and minced
    • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    • 1½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
    • 2 ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted, and finely diced

    On a cutting board, using the side of a large knife, mash the garlic, chile, and brown sugar to a paste. (Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro, mint, and peaches. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 hours in advance. Enjoy!

    Crunchy Peach Salad

    Just underripe peaches add a sweet-tart crunch to this refreshing salad. Serve it alongside grilled salmon or sablefish (black cod) to balance the richness of the fish.

    Makes 4 servings

    • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
    • 1 tablespoon minced hot red chile
    • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 slightly underripe peaches, pitted and very thinly sliced
    • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
    • 2 cups baby arugula
    • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted almonds

    In a large bowl, combine the shallot, chile, vinegar, and sugar. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the peaches and radishes and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the arugula and almonds and toss to combine. Serve right away.

    Sweet & Sour Peach Chutney

    Serve this sweet-tart chutney with grilled shrimp kebabs or fried fish fingers.

    Makes 1½ cups

    • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
    • ¾ cup water
    • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
    • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • Pinch each of ground cardamom, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt

    Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, about 15 minutes. Enjoy right away or cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!