More Than Just Recipes: Frog Hollow Peaches with Balsamic Vinegar

Peach perfect.

I had dinner at Ad Hoc on Friday night, and although I’ve offered tepid reviews of this restaurant in the past, I did have a great meal there, I must admit. The night’s menu featured an Italian-themed dinner, which actually began with meatballs, which to me was so much more interesting than salad, Ad Hoc’s typical first-course selection. After the meatballs, it was a perfectly-roasted half-chicken, followed by a cheese course, and about as much tiramisu as I could devour. The cheese plate was garnished with honey, chopped pistachios, and one of my favorite things in life, Frog Hollow Farm peaches. July and August represent the height of peach season here in California, and seeing “Frog Hollow” on Ad Hoc’s menu reminded me to track down a few of these gems for myself.

Luckily for me, I can usually find Frog Hollow peaches at the Oxbow Market in Napa, and this week their produce vendor featured the Flavorcrest cultivar, a delicious, early-ripening, yellow semi-freestone peach. I first learned of Frog Hollow peaches when I was cooking at Auberge du Soleil. We sliced them and caramelized the peaches in sugar, featuring them as a garnish for our seared foie gras appetizer. Working the hot apps station at Auberge meant that I would get to taste these peaches quite a bit during the summer, and I was soon hooked. These days, I simply pair luxury with luxury by eating quartered Frog Hollow peaches with — not foie gras — but a nice, fancy 20-year balsamic vinegar. That’s it. Two ingredients. No cooking required.

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