Each month Kitchen Play  hosts a Progressive Party with six food bloggers who are typically assigned one of the following courses:  cocktail, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, main course, and dessert.  The bloggers then have to incorporate the same product into whatever course they were assigned.  This month’s challenge was a little different, in that the course assigned to all the bloggers was “Iconic Grilling Recipe” and the theme, which was sponsored by the Ad Council who is promoting new USDA food safety guidelines during the summer grilling season, was “Make This Recipe…Safer”.  I love grilling and I was thrilled to be invited to participate in this month’s Progressive Party.

Help keep foods free of contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw meats and fresh produce.

So, what did I decide to grill up?  Dessert!  Fresh, local peaches are one of the true delights of summer and grilling makes them even more of a treat by highlighting and intensifying their natural flavor and adding a subtle smokiness.

Grilled peaches are frequently served with a little honey, sugar syrup, or even balsamic glaze.  I wanted to give my grilled peaches a bit of Middle Eastern flair so I decided to serve them with a drizzle of orange blossom syrup (called qattar, or attar in slang, this is just a slightly thickened simple sugar syrup that’s flavored with orange blossom water) and a sprinkle of pistachios, both of which are common flavors found in Middle Eastern desserts.

I buy orange blossom syrup at a local Middle Eastern market; you can substitute rosewater or even vanilla if you prefer.  Or you can flavor the syrup with cinnamon and add a sprinkle of walnuts instead of pistachios for a little Greek flair.

Grilled Peaches with Orange Blossom Syrup & Pistachios

Serves 2

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water

2 peaches, halved and pitted

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 tablespoon shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Add the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl.  Boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn heat off and stir in the orange blossom water.  Let the syrup cool while you grill the peaches.

Preheat grill; brush the canola oil on both sides of the peaches.  Grill the peaches (cut side down first) until they are softened and have light golden brown grill marks, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side and 1 to 2 minutes on the second side.

Transfer to a serving dish; top the peaches with a drizzle of syrup and a sprinkle of pistachios.