Cooking with the best of summer – Peaches


Peach season indicates some of the best days of summer! Grills, summer produce, and biting into a peach that is so ripe its juices dribble onto your chin and cascade down your arms, signaling it’s a perfect peach! We are lucky enough to have some of the world’s best peaches thanks to our farmers in Eastern Washington, including Pence Orchards!

The juices, flavor and beauty of ripe peaches have been celebrated during Peach-O-Rama at local area Metropolitan Market stores for years. This year marks the 20th Peach-O-Rama and I’ve teamed up with Metropolitan Market to take Pence Orchards, and organic peach farmer Frog Hollow, from the produce section of the stores to home grills. My recipes for Grilled Summer Peach Salad with Ricotta and Prosciutto and Marinated Peaches, Buttermilk Quinoa Cakes and Basil Crème Fraiche are both in Metropolitan Market’s “Market Calendar” in stores. I’ve also shared one below.

As a chef, I’ve worked with Bert Pence of Pence Orchards for years. Together, Metropolitan Market and Pence Orchards take their peach business seriously. Pence hand picks some of the biggest and best for Metropolitan Market and places them in single layer boxes to avoid bruising during shipment to the stores. The single layer of peaches is key, and is reserved only for the Metropolitan Market peaches, which must have 13 Brix or higher, making them the sweetest peaches on the market. It’s this kind of care that makes my job as a chef so fun – creating dishes with the very best product I can get my hands on!

I’ll be at the Kirkland Metropolitan Market on Saturday, July 30, Noon-2 p.m. cooking the above dishes and sharing them with shoppers, while enjoying a few of those perfectly ripe peaches that Pence, Frog Hollow and Metropolitan Market have become so well-known for.


Marinated Peaches, Buttermilk Quinoa Cakes & Basil Creme Fraiche


Serves 4

Marinated Peaches

3 large fresh ripe peaches, skin on, sliced in 8 large chunks, pits removed

3 Tbsp fresh maple syrup

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 mint leaves, chopped well

1/2 tsp salt


Basil Creme Fraiche

1/2 cup creme fraiche

1.5 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp lemon juice


Buttermilk Quinoa Cakes

1 Tbsp orange juice

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp fresh dry active yeast

1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder


  1. Mix all Marinated Peaches ingredients in a bowl. Rest aside at room temperature while preparing the rest. 

  1. Mix the Basil Creme Fraiche ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate. 

  1. Bring orange juice and buttermilk
to a boil in a small saucepan, then carefully pour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar, yeast, thyme, and quinoa and stir to mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow 20 minutes for yeast to activate. It will become cloudy and bubble. Slowly fold in the remaining Buttermilk Quinoa Cake ingredients. Heat a greased cast iron pan or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Spoon mixture in and cook until brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side. 

  1. Top quinoa cakes with peaches and creme fraiche.