If you haven’t tried this duo, you’re missing out.
Credit: Caitlin Bensel; Styling: Rishon Hanners

I was recently making a clean-out-the-fridge dinner before I left for vacation, and I found myself with too many tomatoes and peaches to count. It’s early August, and my weekly farmers’ market haul tends to leave me with bags on bags of the two ultimate summer fruits. But, with just one week to clean out my kitchen of all things perishable, I had to think fast about how to combine the juicy produce into one cohesive dish.

Before that moment, I never really considered tomatoes and peaches to be complementary foods. Maybe it was my Northeastern roots, where peaches aren’t nearly as luscious as they are down south. The way I saw it was: Tomatoes, though technically a fruit, are for savory applications and peaches are eaten raw for an after-lunch treat or cooked into a summery dessert. But together? No thanks.

What happened next changed how I looked at eating peaches and tomatoes entirely. I tossed some sliced heirloom tomatoes and peaches in a large bowl with red onion and boiled from frozen peas, lima beans, and fresh corn . Then, I sprinkled the salad with feta cheese and a drizzle of tahini sauce. It was the epitome of summer in a bowl. Every bite brought salty, rich cheese and nutty tahini with succulent chunks of bright tomato and peach. It didn’t feel overly sweet, nor odd, and I vowed to pair tomatoes and peaches as long as the season would let me.

See the thing is, ripe peaches and tomatoes are both juicy, offer sweetness and brightness, and have similar flavor profiles when it comes to complementary ingredients. In fact, you could even swap one for the other in many a fresh application—just think about how tasty a peach caprese salad would be! They both pair well with creamy/salty/tangy ingredients (like say, feta or goat cheese) and can stand on their own as the star of a dish, so when brought together, they actually make a great team. The throw-together salad I made was so flavorful, it inspired me to continue to pair summer my produce on the same plate. If you’re looking to give the tomato and peach combination a whirl, try The Ultimate Summer Tomato Salad, Farro, Heirloom Tomato, and Peach Salad, Southern Tomato Salad, Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad, or Tomato and Peach Flatbread with Basil. After all, what grows together goes together—and these summer fruits are an optimal match.