The Cooking Cardiologist: Grilled Peach Melba

Grilled Peach Melba

Richard Collins, MD

The Cooking Cardiologist®

Susan Buckley, RD

South Denver Cardiology Associates

1000 SouthPark Drive

Littleton, Colorado


Here is a classic dessert with a twist. Fresh Colorado peaches are placed on a grill to produce a caramelized smoky flavor.

According to history, Chef Auguste Escoffier created “Peach Melba” for Nellie Melba, the stage name of an Australian opera singer, Helen Porter Mitchell. In 1892, Chef Auguste created this dessert especially for Nellie Melba after one of her memorable opera performances. He is also attributed to making double toasted bread “Melba toast” at a time when Ms. Melba became very ill. In 1925, the Mayo Brothers of the famed Mayo Clinic prescribed in their  “Eighteen Day Reducing Diet” an “intake of Melba toast” for weight loss.

This new creation uses all ingredients attributed to “Melba”: her toast, peaches with raspberry sauce and ice cream. To make the Melba toast pop, the crumbles are laced with Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. These crumbles are a great topping with only approximately 20 calories per serving.


3 fresh ripe (freestone preferred) Colorado peaches, blanched, peeled and halved with seeds removed

12-ounces fresh raspberries

¼-cup sugar

2t fresh lemon juice

1-pint premium vanilla bean ice cream

5 Melba toasts, coarse crumbled in a mini-food processor

1T Chambord


Cut a shallow X at the bottom of each peach. Immerse peaches in a large 4-quart pot of boiling water. Blanch for 30 seconds. Remove, cool and peel off the skin. Halve the peaches and remove the seed. On a medium grill (grates are cleaned and oiled), place the peaches cut side down. Grill for 2-3 minutes to create grill marks. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Rotate the peach 90 degrees and create a cross hatch of grill marks. Remove and cool.

Prepare the raspberry sauce. In a medium saucepan, add the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook and stir until raspberries break down, sugar dissolves, and the sauce is completely heated, 3 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and press sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. Cool to room temperature, cover the bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 45 minutes to thicken. Note: sauce can be made 1 day ahead.


In a mini-food processor add the Melba toast. Coarse chop to form crumbles. Note: if a small food processor is not available, place the toast in a zip-lock bag and crush until coarse crumbles are formed. Add the Chambord and toss to coat evenly. Spread out the crumbles to slightly dry.


Plate 6 bowls. Add a half of a grilled peach, top with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle on the raspberry sauce, approximately 1-2 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with the Chambord crumbles.


Serves 6. Serving size: ½ of a grilled peach, raspberry sauce, one scoop of ice cream and 1 tablespoon of Chambord crumbles.