Summer peach and berry salad and a Monthly Mingle.
I was in the fresh fruit and veg section of our local supermarket the other day when I spotted lovely flat peaches. Unfortunately, as I have said many times, in Dubai you sometimes (ok most times) have to put aside any ideas you may have of reducing your carbon footprint and just go with what is available. These were from Syria if my memory serves me correctly.
The first time I ever saw these peaches was here in Dubai. They smell like peaches should smell, all summery and sweet. These had a few little blemishes here and there, which to me is a sign that they are grown without the use of pesticides, or at the very least a minimal use of the stuff. They are not round orbs as peaches usually are, but flat as though someone compressed them . Just beautiful. Their juiciness reminded me of my peach eating days as a child in our very back garden. With every bite, rivulets of juice trickled down my forearms, so that I had to eat them over the kitchen sink.
I love beautiful magazines and tend to keep a pile of my favourites which I frequently turn to for inspiration. I found this recipe in a South African magazine called Visi and immediately knew what to do with the rest of the peaches.
This would go beautifully with a meat dish like pork or on its own as a lovely light summer lunch.
Grilled Peach and Berry Salad ( with a few changes to the original recipe) for 4 people
Firm peaches (and/or nectarines), about 6 to 8
Fresh rosemary sprigs, about 3 stems. The leaves finely chopped
fresh rocket (enough to make a salad for 4 )
fresh basil leaves, about 3 handfuls
pistachio nuts or pine nuts lightly toasted, a small handful (optional)
Cut the peaches in half around the stone. Remove and discard the stones. Place the peaches in a dish. Drizzle the peaches with olive oil and sprinkle with the rosemary leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Leave it to marinade for between half an hour and a hour.In the meantime preheat your oven to very hot . When preheated, place the dish with the peaches into the oven and bake (or grill) until they start to roast. Remove from the oven. They must remain firm.
Arrange the grilled/roasted fruit on a bed of washed and dried rocket and basil. Spoon over the dressing and sprinkle with the nuts.
firm fresh raspberries or strawberries (I used strawberries)
Combine equal quantities of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. About 4 to 6 tablespoons of each. Mix in with the berries taking care not to squash them too much. I actually squashed a few of the strawberries on purpose to get their juiciness into the dressing.
Make the dressing whilst the peaches are roasting so that they release their juices. Spoon over the salad just before serving.