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The Vegetarian

Special Treats From Succulent Peaches

July 14, 1988|DIANA SHAW | Shaw is free-lance writer in Los Angeles.

Looking over the columns I wrote last summer, I found a column lamenting a pitiful peach crop and suggesting the best you could do with the mealy, flat-tasting fruit was grind it into pulp, bury in seasonings and call it soup.

As you've probably discovered, this year's peaches are much better. Tree-ripened and succulent, the fruit available now is flavorful enough to assert its own taste in dishes such as these.

PEACH SAUCE

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup peeled and pureed peaches

1/2 inch piece ginger root, grated

1 clove garlic, crushed and minced

1 tablespoon minced green onion

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Combine soy sauce, honey, peaches, ginger, garlic, green onion and sesame seeds. Chill at least 3 hours for flavors to blend. Makes about 1 cup sauce.

Note: Serve over steamed vegetables, tofu, rice, or bean threads (Chinese noodles), or stir-fry with vegetables and tofu.

FILLED PEACHES

2 cups strawberry, lemon or vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup diced walnuts

1/3 cup currants

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

4 large peaches

Place yogurt in coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined colander. Allow to drain 6 hours, refrigerated, to form yogurt cheese.

Combine yogurt cheese with walnuts, currants and coconut. Halve peaches, removing pit. Enlarge cavity as necessary to distribute yogurt filling equally among halves.

Place in freezer 30 minutes before serving, but do not allow to freeze solid. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Juice-sweetened, not fruit-on-bottom, yogurt is recommended for recipe.

Variation: Substitute 3/4 cup vanilla or mocha ice cream for yogurt cheese and replace currants and coconut with 1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs or amaretti (Italian almond-flavored cookies). Top with chocolate shavings, if desired.

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