(This giveaway is now closed, and the winner [Alicia!] has been contacted. Thanks to all who entered!)

You know what it’s like when you start noticing what you appreciate about something, be it food or a place or a person you’ve just met, and then it goes and gets better? Almost as if your thankfulness were the cause, that thing suddenly pulls out even more of its charms: that dark chocolate’s topped by sea salt, that person makes you laugh especially hard, that neighborhood looks much more lovely when the sunlight hits the trees a certain way. You already knew you liked it, but now. Oh, now! Now you’re sold, smitten, goooone.

Well, that’s what summer’s gone and done, since I wrote that last post.

And has it ever.

fresh peaches

Beyond the much more bearable heat of the last few days here, we’ve had gorgeous clouds, a crazy cool orange moon, warm night air so nice I want to sleep outside. Sunday, there was a long bike ride in the sunshine, when my arms darkened a few more shades while I sailed past fields of wildflowers. The day before, there was the Lisle French Market, with its live music and organic blueberries and, mostly, the freshest, sweetest bag of peaches I’ve ever held in my hands. These peaches are absolute perfection: so juicy, they’ll drip sweet, sticky juice on your fingers when you bite inside to their bright orange flesh and then, just like that, you’re mumbling things like, Oh, summer. You are really something.

fresh basil

And then of course, there’s my basil plant. That’s nothing new. But I took some time to look at it yesterday and people, this basil plant is big—enormous, really—covered with tall flowers and healthy leaves so fragrant, I feel like I’m in an Italian restaurant each time I walk by.

Take those peaches and this basil and put them together: hello? Summer is just plain irresistible.

raw honey

Inspired by a sandwich my brother described having at Floriole last week and by Nick’s recent grilled cheese at Macheesmo, I made the following two sandwich-ish creations, both on sourdough bread (I like Breadsmith best) and both packed with the star ingredients of peaches and basil, plus some drizzled raw honey from Bron’s Bee Company, a local distributor with A+ packaging (see that glass bear above? so cute).

peach grilled cheese

The grilled cheese was excellent (be generous with the honey!) but the peaches and basil on toasted sourdough? That was just completely over-the-top good, filled with dollops of ricotta and finished with sprinkles of sea salt and black pepper.

If peaches and basil are August, then this is a month I’m proud to call the one I was born in, as well as the one in which this blog began.* Oh, summer. You know what you’re doing.

peaches and basil on sourdough

*GIVEAWAY #1: Simply comment on this post for your chance at a $10 gift card to either iTunes or Etsy. Each person may earn one entry, and winners will be chosen via random number generator tomorrow. Contest closes at Noon CST tomorrow, Tuesday, August 3. While you’re still welcome to comment here, the contest has ended.


Peaches and Basil on Sourdough

(i.e., my new favorite thing to eat)
Update, 8/24/10: It’s also great with mascarpone instead of ricotta. Mmmmm.

Ingredients:
One large slice of sourdough bread, toasted
a tablespoon of butter
One ripe peach
Honey (I like raw best)
A couple springs of fresh basil
A few dollops of ricotta
Sea salt and black pepper

Directions:
Butter toasted sourdough and top with ingredients, adding more or less of ingredients as you like. Makes one.

Peach Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
2 pieces sourdough bread
1 fresh peach, sliced thinly
slices of gruyere and raw-milk sharp cheddar
raw honey, a few teaspoons
a couple sprigs of fresh basil

Directions:
Butter two slices of sourdough bread and place one, buttered side down, on a skillet heated over medium-low heat. Drizzle honey over top, then cheese slices, then peach slices and fresh basil. Top with other piece of bread, buttered side up. Flip when bottom is golden brown and grill the other side to match. Makes one large grilled cheese sandwich.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Lisa at CC&T

    Until this summer and my foray into farmers’ markets and a CSA share, I had only eaten peaches whole and unadorned. I recently experimented with this versatile, summer fruit with a Tomato & Peach salad with fresh basil – delicious. And now, after reading your post, I must add cheese and sourdough! I may never eat another peach whole again :-). Don’t ya just love summer…

  2. Wendi

    Fresh Summer Peaches and Fresh Basil…. I love them both but don’t ever remember putting them together. This sounds interesting. My farmers market attendance has been woefully lacking this year. I guess now would be a good time to change that.

  3. Jenny

    oh, man. Sourdough, how I miss you. And, as an aside, I really, REALLY need to eat BEFORE I read your blog…because now, nothing will quite do it. You have quite a way with these descriptions. :-)

  4. Alicia

    I already have all the ingredients to make this peach basil sandwich so I totally am. Maybe right now for lunch! Happy birthday! Had so much fun at last year’s party.

  5. julie

    I have never thought about peaches in a grilled cheese sandwich – but it sounds so yummy with the honey! I am a grilled cheese fanatic, so I will for sure have to try this!

  6. Anne

    I, like you, have been eating peaches constantly for the past week. It feels a tad hedonistic, but oh-so-good. In an effort to repent, I switched to plums — they are just as good.

  7. hana

    i see so many peach recipes these days!
    I thought it would be weird. warm peach?
    not something you see in asian countries.
    perhaps, i should try it some day though.

  8. Angela Voegtlin

    I love the simplicity and freshness of these sandwiches… and that I already have most of the ingred. I’m always looking for new ideas when having girlfriends over.

  9. heather

    peaches abound here in northwest FL right now. we actually made a panzanella the other day that was very similar to your tartine — quite tasty. yesterday was a spicy/sweet quinoa, chickpea and peach salad, which delighted my fiancée and i to no end. such a versatile summer fruit!

    cheers,

    *heather*

  10. Jocelyn

    I just have to say that I knew I’d be having some leftover corn chowder for dinner last night, and grilled cheese sounded like the perfect complement to it. But that was a big mistake!

    As it turns out, by the time I made your grilled cheese with some Vermont sharp cheddar and blue cheese crumbles, the sandwich’s flavors outshined the soup so much that I only wanted the sandwich for dinner. Thank you for inspiring such an amazing combination of flavors. Best grilled cheese ever.

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