• Chef Kelly Unger

White Peaches + Bellinis & Salsa

I have to admit that I was only a mild white peach fan up until recently. I bought a new cookbook called The Harry’s Bar Cookbook by Arrigo Cipriani (son of Guiseppi Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar). If you’re not familiar, Harry’s Bar is a world famous bar and restaurant in Venice, Italy, established in 1929. Ernest Hemmingway, famous artists, royalty, and movie stars all make their way to Harry’s Bar. Not just to be photographed but equally for the drinks, the food, the atmosphere, the service and, the Bellini.


The cocktail was invented there by its founder, Guiseppi, and, to this day, remains as popular as ever. Harry’s Bar is also very much a place for local Venetians. And despite its very American name, Harry's Bar is very much Italian. It is first and foremost a bar. They also happen to serve world class Italian cuisine as well in an intoxicating atmosphere. Since travel is not in my near future and I am a HUGE fan of the Bellini, I decided to purchase the cookbook. And if you’ve ever had a Bellini, you have in some way, knowingly or not, a connection with Harry’s Bar.


Made with white peaches and Prosecco - the Italian version of Champagne, the Bellini is legendary and was once only available from June through September, when the white peaches are in season. Now, frozen white peach puree is purchased from France to serve the Bellini year round. NEVER use yellow peaches for a Bellini! Only white! And, as they say in the book, “if you can’t find the frozen puree, you’ll just have to produce it the old-fashioned way. Use a food mill or meat grinder to make the pulp and then force it through a fine sieve. If the peach puree is very tart, sweeten it with just a little sugar syrup… Refrigerate the puree until it is very cold. Mix it with very cold, dry Prosecco in the proportion of 1 part peach puree to 3 parts wine or, for each drink, 1 ounce peach puree and 3 ounces wine. Pour the mixture into a well-chilled glass.” (page 16 and 17 of The Harry’s Bar Cookbook). Aahhh! The very taste of Summer, and the perfect drink to transport your mind and mood to a fun destination. Harry’s Bar serves their Bellinis in a tall unassuming juice like glass versus the champagne flutes you’ll see them typically served in here in the states. Harry’s Bar also serves tasty, high class sandwiches in the bar. I think a perfect Summer Harry’s Bar dinner is a Bellini with a Grilled Chicken Club sandwich (also a favorite with customers). If you can enjoy that by some form of moving water, all the better to create the atmosphere. So now you have a reason to purchase a crate of white peaches.

I hardly need a reason to purchase a crate of yellow peaches, perhaps my favorite fruit of all time. Once I’m ready to eat more than raw peaches out of hand, I like to make Clafoutis and Peach Salsa. Clafoutis (CLAH- foo- tee) is a French dish traditionally made with stone fruit; apricots, peaches, and cherries primarily. But really you can use any fruit. It somehow seems to taste better with stone fruit though. It’s great for breakfast but in France it is traditionally served for dessert. Clafoutis starts as a batter made with flour, eggs, milk and butter poured over the fruit placed cut side down in a round baking dish. In the oven it puffs up and then deflates out of the oven and cools to a custardy pancake. Lots of recipes can be found online with a quick search.


I also like to make salsa with peaches. I’m a big fan of both the salty sweet and hot sweet flavor combinations, which I’ve highlighted in my recipes for both a yellow and a white peach salsa. White peaches are so much sweeter than yellow peaches and lack that sourness that I like so much, making them the perfect pairing for a hot pepper. My yellow peach salsa uses a bell pepper but you can interchange any of the ingredients to suit your taste. I’m sharing both of my recipes with you as a guideline. Take these recipes and make them your own. Because these salsas are raw, all of the vegetables' healthful enzymes are alive and able to contribute positively to your gut health. However, if you have leftover salsa, you can cook it and it becomes a nice little chutney to top grilled chicken or fish.


The salsa and/or chutney is also perfect for tucking into the middle of a Summer grilled cheese. It's an unexpected flavor explosion and such a great contrast to smooth, melty cheese. And then you can say you got your vegetable allowance in for the meal as well. Wink, wink.


There are so many delicious things to make with peaches beyond what I’ve already talked about. Wrap them in prosciutto to serve with a cheese board, add them to salads, serve them with vanilla ice cream for dessert, make sangria and other fun boozy drinks, grill them, make peach cake, cook them in butter and browned sugar to put them in the center of crepes. The list goes on. Enjoy peaches every which way you can, every day while they’re around. They’re one of my absolute favorite parts of Summer. Nothing can compare to the flavor of a perfectly ripe peach. Enjoy these recipes!


White Peach Salsa

Recipe by Chef Kelly Unger

2 large white peaches, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

1 medium hot pepper, finely diced

1 small to medium red bell pepper, finely diced

1 small zucchini, finely diced

1 small or ½ medium red onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt plus ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

About 2 tablespoons olive oil

Add all of the fruit and vegetables to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the ingredients and gently mix with a spoon. Drizzle with more olive oil if needed and adjust salt and pepper to taste.



Yellow Peach Salsa

Recipe by Chef Kelly Unger

2 large yellow peaches, diced

1 small or ½ medium yellow or sweet onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium tomato, diced

1 small zucchini, finely diced

1 teaspoon salt plus ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3-5 stems parsley, chopped

About 2 tablespoons olive oil

Add all of the fruit, vegetables and parsley to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the ingredients and gently mix with a spoon. Drizzle with more olive oil if needed and adjust salt and pepper to taste.




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