Freestone peaches, those in which the pit releases easily from the flesh, are best for this recipe. Late-ripening peach varieties tend to be freestone.
Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt and Hazelnut Praline
For the hazelnut praline
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups blanched hazelnuts, toasted
For the grilled peaches
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 3 Tbs. olive oil; more for serving
- 1 tsp. honey; more for serving
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more for serving
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ripe freestone peaches, halved and pitted
- Canola or vegetable oil, as needed
- 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, preferably Chobani
- Flaky sea salt, for serving
Make the praline
- Generously coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a 3-quart saucepan. Over medium-high heat, boil the sugar with 1/4 cup water until the temperature reaches 248°F (firm ball stage). Add the nuts, remove from the heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar coats each nut and has a grainy, sandy appearance.
- Place the pan over medium heat and melt the sugar again, stirring constantly until the nuts are a deep caramel color, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow the praline to cool, and then break into medium-size pieces.
Make the peaches
- Prepare a high gas or charcoal fire, or heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, vanilla, thyme, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Add the peaches to the marinade and toss until well coated. Lightly oil the grill or skillet with canola or vegetable oil. Grill the peaches, cut side down, without moving until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes (reserve the marinade). Remove from the grill.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and lemon juice. Place 1/2 cup of praline pieces in a zipper-type plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin to make medium crumbs. (Use leftover praline as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or waffles.)
- Divide the yogurt mixture among 8 plates. Rub the cut side of the peaches with the reserved marinade. Place half a peach skin side down on each plate over yogurt. Sprinkle with praline crumbs and drizzle with honey and oil. Finish with a pinch of sea salt.