For several years now cooks at Chef and the Farmer dread peach season. Yes, they’re normal humans with palettes that appreciate ripe sweet peaches, but they know ripe peaches mean country ham roasted peaches on the menu. Nearly every table that dines with us during peach season orders the hand-wrapped, labor-packed bundles, and sometimes those tables order them a second time… in one sitting. It’s not that the peaches require a professional touch to execute, they’re actually quite easy to make. It’s just that at C&F we have to prep 40 or so orders every night. And at 7 pieces per order, that’s a lot of ham to slice and 280 peach wedges to wrap. I’d complain too.
The good news is you only have to wrap as many as you feel like wrapping and you don’t need to peel the peaches for these to be the best they can be (the skin helps hold them together). And best of all, if you're doing this at home and don’t have a meat slicer next to your toaster oven, you can buy pre-sliced prosciutto at the grocery store. So there… stop whining and wrap some dang peaches!
— Vivian Howard
3 large, ripe freestone peaches
12 to 14 slices of smoked country ham or prosciutto, 1/20 of an inch thick
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 c. blue cheese (I like Maytag, Asher and Cambozola brands)
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
Wrap and roast the peaches: preheat your oven to 500°. Cut the peaches into wedges that are 1½ inches thick at their widest point. Wrap each peach with 1 full slice of country ham. It should go around roughly 1½ times. Lay the peaches ham-seam-side down on a baking sheet.
Five minutes before you’re ready to cook the peaches slide a 9x12 baking sheet into the oven to preheat. Take it out and drizzle the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Carefully place the peaches in a single row, making sure none of them are touching, and drizzle their tops with the remaining oil.
Roast the peaches on the middle rack of your oven for about 10 minutes. The ham should crisp up slightly, and the peaches will start to shrink.
Serve them with blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Photos by Baxter Miller