Peaches are a thing to get die hard about. This god-given fruit is in season for about as long as brown lipstick for Fall 2013, so there’s no room for messing around. Get die hard. Store in a plastic bag, or no? Refrigerate, or HELL no?
There is overwhelming photographic evidence that I can demolish an entire basket of peaches on my own if the will be there. And the will is there, believe me… What I’m not usually willing to do, though, is cook peaches. They don’t need to be altered. You don’t have to bake them into a pie, or fold them into a scone with white chocolate to make them palateable.
But I came across this simple savoury application in a tremendous hipster cookbook, Roberta’s. It’s so easy, it takes about as much time to make as it does to just eat a peach.
Calamari with Peach Puree and Seared Scallions
*adapted from Roberta’s Cookbook, by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock
1 lb. cleaned baby or small squid
some good olive oil
1 bunch scallions, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
freshly ground black pepper
1 peach, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 tbsp. good olive oil
pinch of sugar
salt, to taste
aleppo pepper, to taste
Separate the squid heads from the bodies. Rinse both in cold water. Cut the bodies into triangles slightly larger than bite-sized, and score them lightly with a crosshatch pattern. Leave the tentacles whole. Dry the squid thoroughly with paper towels and salt them.
Blend the peach with the 1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil, the sugar, and salt to taste. The puree should be spoonable. If it’s too sweet, add more salt. If it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar. Set aside.
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and put it over almost high heat. Working in at least two batches to avoid overcrowding, put the squid in the pan and toss them around, shaking the pan, until they are just barely starting to colour, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Wipe out the saute pan, coat it with oil again, and place it over almost high heat. Throw in the scallions and season them with salt and pepper. Sear them for 30 seconds on each side, until they’re just starting to colour.
Put a big spoonful of peach puree in each of four shallow bowls. Put a serving of squid on top of each spoonful of puree. Garnish with the scallions and a pinch of aleppo pepper.