Hadassah

On the Grill: Peachy Goodness with Mascarpone

By Shannon Sarna

In the last days of summer, when temperatures soar and the humidity is nearly unbearable, I naturally crave lighter fare: fresh fruit with yogurt, chilled pasta salad packed with veggies and protein and big green salads topped with "all the stuff," as my husband likes to say. It's also a great time of year to eat outside – have a picnic or host a barbecue. But barbecues don’t have to be exclusively hamburgers, hot dogs and heavy mayonnaise-laden potato salad. Grilling also lends itself well to a variety of heart-healthy options like fish, vegetables, chicken and even fruit.

Instead of a meat-heavy barbecue, try a lighter affair: grilled potato salad, grilled fish packets, rainbow vegetable skewers and, yes, dessert. 

One of my favorite, simple and healthful desserts is perfect for an evening of dining outside: grilled peaches with mascarpone, yogurt and pistachios. If you've never grilled stone fruit you will be delighted by the sweet caramel flavor the peaches take on from the heat. Not only does this dessert taste decadent and delicious, it’s incredibly simple and fast to throw together, making it ideal for entertaining. Less time in the kitchen or at the grill, more time to enjoy the weather and your guests.

This recipe was really inspired by an epic meal from my childhood. My father was obsessed with the Food Network when it first launched, and so as he or my mother prepped dinner, we were almost always joined by Giada, Emeril or his favorite, "Molto Mario," aka Mario Batali. 

At the time, Mario Batali owned a quaint Italian restaurant in the West Village of Manhattan called Po. And at one of the meals our parents brought us to, the restaurant served a berry and mascarpone parfait that my father eagerly rushed home to recreate. I’ve added my own spin with grilled peaches and a burst of color and texture with chopped pistachios. 

Grilling peaches is fast and easy, and you can do it both on your outdoor grill or on an indoor grill pan. No peaches in season? Try topping the mascarpone-yogurt mixture with fresh berries, a sprinkle of chopped almonds and fresh mint for garnish. 


Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Pistachios
Yield, 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe (but not too soft) peaches, halved and pits removed
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (2% or whole)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • additional honey (optional)
  • fresh mint (optional)

Directions

  • Combine mascarpone, Greek yogurt and honey in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Brush each half of peach with light coating of canola oil.
  • Grill peaches for 2-3 minutes on flesh side. Flip over and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve grilled peaches with mascarpone-yogurt mixture, chopped pistachios, a drizzle of honey and fresh mint if desired.


Note: you can also try this combination with grilled pineapple, bananas or fresh berries. I recommend replacing the pistachios with almonds or macadamia nuts.


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