Summertime means a few things to me, like freedom from school a/k/a hell, the beach…it also means peaches, nectarines, bing cherries, and more recently, watermelon. When I came across this recipe from F&W, I knew I had to make it. It paired my love for ripe, in-season now fruit, with pancetta – the Italian bacon. A lover of bacon wrapped figs, I figured this would be just as, if not more, delicious. After making them, I realized that perhaps the ripeness of the peach was a bit of a detriment to the recipe. It might be best to use a peach that doesn’t quite yield to the touch of your finger, yet still has that “Hey, I’m a ripe & ready to eat peach, buy me!!” smell. Another tweak I would make to this recipe is to not slice the pancetta so thin – this will help to shield the peach from too much cooking, and also provide a better peach-to-pancetta balance. I made an aged balsamic reduction with honey to drizzle over these peaches in a blanket. I now have fresh watermelon and prosciutto in my refrigerator, and plan on making a similar bite, but with mint rather than basil. Give these a try on your stovetop or even the grill. They would pair perfectly with grilled pork, ribs, shrimp.
Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil and Aged Balsamic – F&W Magazine
- 16 thin slices of pancetta
- 2 medium freestone peaches—halved, pitted and cut into 8 wedges each
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 16 basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Lay the pancetta slices out on a work surface. Set a peach wedge at the edge of each slice, season with salt and pepper and top with a basil leaf. Roll up the pancetta to enclose the peaches.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add half of the wrapped peaches and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining peaches.
- Lightly drizzle the peaches with aged balsamic vinegar and serve. Or, like me, make a balsamic reduction by heating a desired amount of balsamic in a small saucepan, with honey (optional) until it reduces to a syrup like consistency.