Grilled peaches

Grilled peaches with goat cheese, hazelnuts and peach barbecue sauce (Photo and styling by John Houser III, Special to The Baltimore Sun / June 27, 2012)

The flavor of a peach in hot weather can instantly transport you back to your childhood. The peach succumbing to the pressure of your grip while the juice cascades down your chin is a tactile memory that explodes in your cortex with every first bite of the season.

Peaches can be had locally from June until September, and now is a great time to start cooking with them. Peaches are normally thought of as dessert fare, but when combined with more savory items, they can be used to create a mind-blowing appetizer at your next cookout.

The beauty of buying peaches from the farmers' market is that you can choose between white or yellow peaches. This recipe uses white peaches as the base with a filling of spiced goat cheese, topped with toasted hazelnuts and a barbecue sauce made from yellow peaches. It's an easy recipe as long as you remember to use firm peaches for the grill and soft peaches for the sauce.

One bite of this dish, and you'll create a new flavor memory to last you a lifetime.

Grilled peaches with goat cheese, hazelnuts and peach barbecue sauce

Makes: 12 servings

6 white peaches, cut in half and pitted

olive oil

toasted hazelnuts, broken into pieces

For peach barbecue sauce:

1 yellow onion

2 pounds yellow peaches

5 cloves garlic

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup bourbon

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar