Nectarines & Peaches

NectarineWhat Are They? Nectarines are a smooth-skinned variety of peach, the fruit of a hardy deciduous tree.

Where Do They Come From? Peaches are native to China, but they are widely grown in other areas, including Europe; even in Britain and Ireland they can be grown under glass or in polytunnels – or as fan-trained trees on warm south or south-west facing walls. Nectarines are slightly less hardy than peaches and need sheltered sites for successful cultivation out of doors.

Where Can I Get Them? European peaches and nectarines, mainly from Italy, are in season now and easily available in greengrocers and supermarkets. You may even be lucky enough to get Irish-grown fruit at farmers markets or small greengrocers where local growers may supply small quantities. Tasting the flavour of top fruit freshly picked off the trees is a memorable experience.

What Can I Do With Them? Peaches and nectarines are both delicious eaten fresh as a whole fruit when fully ripe, and can be used in fruit salads etc – but dip any cut fruit into water acidulated with lemon juice to keep it fresh looking, as it browns quickly when exposed to the air. Peaches and nectarines are excellent cooked (simply poach in a slow cooker for tender results without the fruit breaking up) and they make lovely ices, smoothies and sauces for sweet or savoury dishes.


Pork Kebabs with Nectarine and Honey SalsaPork Kebabs with Nectarine and Honey Salsa

Any fruity salsa is delicious with pork, and using summer fruit gives it a lighter seasonal feel. Nectarines have the edge for this dish as they have a thinner, smoother skin, but peaches could be used instead if more convenient.

Serves 4.

Click for recipe

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