This is an improvisational recipe if there ever was one. All I want to do is to encourage you to try grilling peaches, which isn’t as crazy as you’d think. Then serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As a bonus, make a quick berry sauce if you’ve got some frozen berries stashed in your freezer and drizzle it over all. (Raspberries and peaches are best buddies.) Or skip the berry sauce and drizzle a bit of dark maple syrup or balsamic glaze over all.

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ cups frozen raspberries, blackberries, or a combination
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • a few drops of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 4 firm-ripe peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

1. Put the frozen berries in a blender and pulse until chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and blend again until a rough puree forms. Taste and add the remaining tablespoon of sugar if you like, and a few drops of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Blend until fairly smooth

2. Set a hand-held (medium-mesh) strainer over a bowl and transfer the contents of the blender to the strainer. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, push the puree through the strainer until just solids remain in the strainer. Reserve the puree. You can make the berry sauce several hours in advance and refrigerate if you like, but bring to room temp before using.

3. Heat a gas grill on medium heat. When the grill is hot, arrange the peach or nectarine halves on the grill, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until grill marks form on the bottom. 

4. Use tongs to flip each half over and cook without disturbing for 3 minutes. Check one to see if grill marks have formed. If not, continue cooking for another minute. Using a metal spatula, lift each half up, give it a quarter or half turn , set it down again, and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until crosshatch grill marks form on the  half. (If your peaches are very ripe, forget about the crosshatch marks and just cook for 3 minutes on the cut side.)

5. Using the metal spatula, transfer two halves to each of four shallow bowls. Add a scoop of ice cream and spoon or drizzle the berry sauce over the ice cream and peaches. Serve right away.