The Peaches are Here!

Almost everyone I know has a great recipe for peach cobbler, peach muffins, and all manner of peach breakfast and dessert recipes. Yet not many consider peaches for dinner. Delicious in a panini, or as a fresh compote over pork, peaches can kick up a basic dinner routine. Or, this delicious twist on the classic quesadilla, fresh peaches paired with unlikely spices and pork are a curious-cooks delight.

1/2 lb fresh pork sausage
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 medium red onion
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp soy sauce
pepper to taste
3 ripe peaches, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
6 large basil leaves
Eight corn tortillas
6 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1. Place sausage in a medium skillet; cook for about 8 minutes over medium heat, seasoning the sausage with the five-spice powder. Stir occasionally to break up clumps.
2. Once the sausage is cooked through drain all but 1 tbsp of rendered fat; return pan to medium heat. Add onion, cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Season with cumin, soy sauce and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer to a bowl; wipe out the skillet. (You’ll be using it again.)
3. Cut each peach in half; discard the pits, then cut each half into thin slices, placing them in a bowl as you work. Drizzle with the oil, then season lightly with pepper.
4. Stack basil leaves, roll tightly; cut into thin slices, then transfer to the bowl of peach slices, tossing to distribute evenly.
5. Arrange 4 tortillas side by side on the counter. Use half of the cheese, scattering equal amounts over each tortilla and leaving about a 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Spoon cooked sausage on top of cheese. Fan the peaches on top of each tortilla, so the slices overlap and create a wheel. Scatter cooked onion over the peaches, then the remaining cheese evenly over each tortilla. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas.
6. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 200 degrees.
7. Lightly grease the same (now-empty) skillet with cooking oil spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add one quesadilla and cook for 2 minutes, then turn it over and cook for 2 minutes; the cheese should be mostly melted and the tortilla browned in spots. Transfer to the oven.
8. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas, spraying the skillet each time and transferring them to the oven to keep warm.
9. Cut each one into wedges; serve warm.

Adapted from “Simple Summer: A Recipe for Cooking and Entertaining With Ease,” by Jonathan Bardzik (self-published, 2013)