Peach and Cucumber Salsa

Peach and Cucumber SalsaVermin, Pestilence, and Thieves!

Mother nature is out to get me and she has dispatched her evil minions so that not only do I not get to enjoy the fruits of my labor but I provide hours of hilarity and entertainment for said minions. I swear to God I hear the squirrels laughing…with their mouths full of pumpkin.

When I planted our fruit orchard three years ago I was excited to know that in a few years I would have a virtual produce stand in my front yard. I was most excited about the peaches and nectarines. I planted two of each. Since then, we’ve lost one peach to gophers. Little buggers ate the roots right off and we have been fighting an epic man vs. gopher battle worthy of Bill Murray in the hopes that the ground will not collapse from all the tunnels running under it. Not to mention that we’re not sure the trees actually get water since it seems any water we give them runs into the gopher tunnels.

The first year after planting, I noticed that the leaves on the peaches and nectarines were red and all curled up. I was fortunate to be at an event with Fitz Kelley of the Fitzgerald Fruit Company and asked him about it for if anyone was an expert, he was. He told me it was Peach Leaf Curl, that it was very common, very hard to get rid of and the main reason that it is almost impossible to grow organic peaches and nectarines. You have to spray. There are natural sprays available but you have to spray.

So for the last two years, I have sprayed my trees with copper. I still have Peach Leaf Curl but I did get a few peaches on the trees this year. Alas, after the ground attack from the gophers, Mother Nature decided it was time to attack from the air. The blue jays ate everything. The peaches, nectarines, cherries and prunes. Everything. So now I must fall back and re-assess my game plan for next year’s campaign. In the meantime, I am off to pick my own from one of the many U-Pick farms in Brentwood.

Peach and Cucumber Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appétit | July 2003
Makes about 3 cups

It’s hard to believe that this sweet, crunchy, and smoky salsa has only six calories per serving. Serve it with grilled fish or chicken!

2 cups diced peeled pitted peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup diced unpeeled English hothouse cucumber
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chiles*

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Stir to blend before serving.)

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available in our international aisle.


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