Peaches and basil seem an unlikely alliance, yet the vibrant licorice-like notes of basil make a beautiful match for peaches’ soft, sweet floral undertones. Roasting heightens the peaches’ sweetness, as their juices combine with honey and butter to form a fine syrup that blends perfectly into creamy, thick yogurt cheese. It’s an example of the beautiful balance of nature that, at the height of summer, both peaches and basil arrive in abundance, their flavors at their peak.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 peaches, halved and pitted
- Yogurt Cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and honey with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the salt. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape its seeds into the bowl.
Continue beating the mixture until smooth and uniform.
Spoon the honeyed butter into the peaches’ cavities, dividing it evenly. Place the peaches cavity side up in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish or roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to waiting bowls, top with yogurt cheese and the basil, and serve.