Make the Most of Palisade Peach Season
Nothing says summer like biting into one of Colorado’s deliciously famous Palisade peaches.
Harvested in late June through early October, they’re the perfect fusion of sweet, tart and juicy. Palisades are also larger than their standard counterparts, giving you plenty of fruit to enjoy right off the tree or in any number of incredible dishes, from peach crisp to peach salsa.
The town of Palisade, where these beauties are grown, is located on Colorado’s fertile western slope near Grand Junction. With its nutrient-rich soil, this area is also home to over 30 vineyards and wineries. Hot summer days and cool, crisp nights help bring out the natural sugar content of the peaches, giving Palisade peaches their undeniably delectable flavor.
How to Pick the Perfect Palisade Peach
Whether eating them straight or using them in a recipe, you have to first find the perfect peach. They’re at their peak of ripeness when they start to get a little soft, but not mushy. Give them a light squeeze, just not so hard that they bruise. The fruit should also be nice and round without any green tones. Give it a sniff—there should be a faint sweet aroma to them.
If you happen to find ones that were picked a little early, you can let them ripen on your counter. Keep them away from direct sunlight and if possible, don’t let them touch. Turn them onto their shoulders so they stay put and don’t roll into each other. After a couple of days, your Palisade peaches should be ready to enjoy. Give them a little squeeze to check on their ripeness.
The Perfect Palisade Peach Salsa
Adapted from a recipe by Love & Lemons, this is a versatile salsa that pairs perfectly with just about any summer menu, from fish tacos to black bean burgers and chicken kebabs. Enjoy!
2-3 Palisade Peaches, Diced
½ Red Bell Pepper, Diced
¼ Cup Diced Red Onion
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 Lime, Juice & Zest
1 Small Garlic Clove, Grated
½ Jalapeño, Minced
¼ Teaspoon Salt, More to Taste
Mix together peaches, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice and zest, garlic, jalapeño, and salt. Season to taste and chill in the fridge for two hours. Before serving, drain any excess liquid.
Quick tip: Taste as you go and adjust flavors however you like! Swap in serranos or habaneros to amp up the heat. You can also use pickled onions or jalapeños for more tang.
Mango or pineapple
Grilled corn kernels
Cooked black beans
Chili powder or Tajín
Feta or goat cheese
Even More Amazing Peach Recipes
If you’re like most folks who go a little overboard and buy A LOT of Palisade peaches at one time, there are tons of recipes out there that will turn your peach haul into something truly fabulous. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Upside-Down Peach Cake (from Taste of Home)
3/4 cup butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
- Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into an ungreased 9-inch round baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach slices in a single layer over sugar.
- In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spoon over peaches.
- Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm.
Peaches 'n Cream Lasagna (from Delish)
8 small peaches, sliced
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
15 graham crackers
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. sliced almonds
- Macerate peaches: In a large bowl, combine peaches, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Toss until the peaches are evenly coated in the sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Make the whipped cream: In a large bowl, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat mixture with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble lasagna. In an 8" square baking pan, place graham crackers in an even layer. Spread an even layer of whipped cream over the graham crackers, top with macerated peaches then sprinkle some almonds on top. Repeat three more times.
- Chill in refrigerated until the graham crackers have softened, about 2 hours.