Serious Sweets: Roasted Riesling Peaches and Haloumi
Cheese and fruit are not strangers, but when I was little it was vexing to see my grandmother serve her syrup-poached figs with large hunks of salty white cheese like queso de crema. I always made a face and immediately asked for a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead. Wasn't dessert supposed to be sweet?
As my taste buds matured, the salty-sweet combination in both main courses and desserts became a favorite. Salted caramel, cheddar cheese-crusted apple pies, chocolate-covered Ritz crackers, and Snickers bars. These roasted peaches with haloumi are a lovely iteration of the salty-sweet dessert theme. The ripe peaches are bathed in Riesling syrup, the Riesling's floral notes accentuating their delicate perfume. As they roast, the peaches release deep blush-hued juices that remind me of a summer sunset. A light seasoning of salt and black pepper on the fruit perks up the syrup and makes the peaches pop.
Haloumi, the intensely salty Cypriot cheese, plays yin to the peaches' yang. In addition to its brininess, its high melting point keeps it intact under the furnace-hot broiler. Slightly charred and warm, it's irresistible enough that you won't be missing the ice cream.
About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blogs High Heels & Frijoles and Voracious Billy Goat. Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite.