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Fresh peaches are only a “clingstone’s” throw away from Charlotte

Posted: Friday, Jul. 20, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

"Chef Troy" Gagliardo hosts a weekly cooking segment called "Troy's Everyday Eats" live every Tuesday on WCCB News Rising from 7 to 9 a.m. He has made over 300 appearances on the show showcasing over 1000 of his unique original recipes. He was also voted one of the Top Five best chefs in Charlotte in 2013. Troy has penned a cookbook called Pseudo Southern, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef and best selling author Fabio Viviani. His business Motown Spice Provisions supplies some of the top restaurants and country clubs in the greater Charlotte area for the past 10 years. He is a self-taught chef who learned early on the importance of family and food, and the connection between both, from his parents and grandparents. Contact him at troygagliardo@gmail.com. Visit www.cheftroy.net, and follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Living in the Charlotte area gives us the best of many worlds. A couple hours from the mountains, a few hours from the beach and in the summer time, we have loads of our own fresh, locally-grown produce.

Also a short car drive away, just across the South Carolina border, we are so close to the best peaches in the world, we can almost smell them from downtown Charlotte. Making Charlotte only a “clingstone’s” throw away from fresh peaches.

Most folks think of peaches as a component for desserts; however peaches are great paired with other ingredients to create more savory dishes. Peaches respond well to sweet and hot peppers, salty, cured meats and even balsamic vinegar.

If you are looking for a great day, get in the car and hit one of our local peach farms, pick your own fruit, come back to the big city and give this flatbread a try. You will have plenty of peaches from your farm pick to also get your sweet fix with a grilled peach cobbler right off the grill.

Black's Peaches, York, S.C., 803-684-2333.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. www.blackspeachesandbakery.com

McLeod Farms, McBee, S.C., 843-335-8611.

Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.macspride.com

The Peach Tree, York, S.C., 803-684-9996.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. www.thepeachtreeorchard.com

Peach, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Grilled Flatbread

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

The Pizza:

• 2, 12 ounces, pizza dough, homemade, store bought or from a pizzeria
• Olive oil, to coat
• 2 each, fresh peaches, halved, pitted, charred on the grill, thin sliced, cooled
• 4 slices, prosciutto, sliced thin, cut into thin strips
• Balsamic glaze, store bought or follow recipe below, to taste
• 4 each, green onion, green top, sliced thin

Goat Cheese Spread:

• 6 ounces, goat cheese, soften
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix goat cheese, olive oil and both peppers well to incorporate. Leave at room temperature covered, until ready to use.

Grilling the Flatbread:

Let dough sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes. Flour and flatten dough into an oblong shape about a ½” thick. Lightly oil one side of each pizza dough and season with salt and pepper. Place directly over flame and grill lightly on each side, about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side. Remove from the grill and assemble. (Or bake in oven on baking sheet, flipping once until lightly golden.)

Assembling the Flatbread:

Equally distribute goat cheese spread on both grilled flat breads. Top with slices of the grilled peaches and strips of prosciutto and place on the top rack of the grill or on a pizza stone in a preheated oven. Remove from the grill and slice into pieces. Drizzle with honey balsamic syrup, top with green onions and serve.

Honey Balsamic Syrup:

• 1 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey

Place the balsamic vinegar in a pan and bring to a strong simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the honey, whisk to dissolve and reduce to about 1/3 of a cup. The syrup will thicken as is cools.

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