FOOD: A myriad of dishes you can make with Palisade peaches |

FOOD: A myriad of dishes you can make with Palisade peaches

Lee Mathis
Free Press Food Columnist
Lee Mathis
Staff Photo |

The peaches are here! The peaches are here!

While the Grand Valley and western Colorado abound with the many offerings of fruits and vegetables from our fine growers, many people out here are just not happy until the Palisade peaches are available!

Yes, we had a late freeze and we lost some of the early varieties; even that freeze cannot stop the onslaught of some of the tastiest peaches in the country.

What some consider the highlight of the peach season, the Palisade Peach Festival is Aug. 15-18 this year. There will be events and happenings all over Palisade, with the festival in Riverbend Park on Friday and Saturday. Think you have a great peach recipe? Enter it in the peach recipe contest! Ya never know, you just might win.

For all of the events and festivities, check out our website of the week for the festival (

Our recipe of the week is one of the recipes I did last year at the “Peach Cuisine with Colorado Chefs” demonstrations. (You can also find the rest of the recipes by visiting the website, clicking on the “Peach Cuisine with Colorado Chefs” link, and there you will find a link to all of the 2012 recipes or click on



4 small pre-made pizza crusts

White Pesto Sauce:

¾ cup walnuts, toasted

2 garlic cloves – Boiled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1-½ firm-ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges and halved crosswise

1 red onion, thin sliced half circle

8 very thin prosciutto slices, torn into pieces

3 oz. soft mild goat cheese, sliced into thin ‘coins’

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 cups arugula, torn

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Make the White Pesto Sauce

1. Toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a big pot.

3. Lower skewered garlic into the water, boil for 45 seconds, immediately run garlic under cold water; remove from skewer, peel and mince.

4. Place nuts, garlic, oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer mixture to a small bowl; stir in the cheeses, and adjust the salt.

Top and bake pizzas

1. Lightly brush pizza crusts and throw on top off preheated grill. Grill until the bottoms are lightly brown.

2. While on grill, lightly brush top of crusts with more olive oil.

3. While crusts are browning, place sliced peaches on grill and grill until slightly crossmarked. Sprinkle cayenne on top of peach slices when they are grilling.

4. Once bottoms are lightly browned, take off grill and flip so that browned sides are facing up.

5. Working quickly, brush crust with the white pesto and top each with one fourth of peaches, prosciutto, onions. goat cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Slide pizzas back on grill and close the top. Check after 4-5 minutes to see if goat cheese is melting.

7. Pull off grill and top with torn arugula.

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at, on the web at, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.