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GET FRESH WITH ME! Peach And Tomato Salad Is Your Summer Cookout Scene Stealer

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Sometimes it’s the dish you fussed the least on that gets the most raves. This is one of them. Why fuss when you can keep it simple, fresh and tasty?

When tomatoes and peaches are ripe and juicy, they make a perfect pairing.

The rules are this: Keep it simple. The basics are tomato and peach.That’s where the flavor lies. The rest is really flexible and up to you, but you can use this as a guide. Let the fresh flavors of these fruits take the lead and enhance them.  Don’t drown them, and you’ll have an easy dish that delights your guests!

Here’s what we did. It served around six people.

Get about four peaches. You want them ripe, ready to eat. It helps to go to the store the day before, because if they aren’t ripe the day you shop for them, you can put them in a brown paper bag to help them along for 24 hours. On the day you servce them, slice them into wedges. Put them into a big bowl.

Cut up a variety of heirloom tomatoes and but them into the same bowl – I like making it more colorful, so I chose red, orange, yellow and the dark green ones. (I tasted a tiny piece of each one to see if they were at maximum, juicy ripeness.) I’ve done this two ways. In the photo above I sliced them like hamburger patties – wide and circular, but you can also do chunks. Combine both in the same bowl. If you don’t have heirloom, that’s fine! Just use juicy flavorful ones. I’ve done this with nearly every type of tomato from cherry to roma. With these heirlooms I stacked the different colors and drizzled with the peaches at the end, so that’s why I went with big slices.

Please note: Once you buy them, don’t put your tomatoes in the fridge! Notice that when you buy them, they’re not in the refrigerated section, they’re in the baskets with the rest of the fruits. Tomatoes grow in the heat, and they’re not fans of the cold after being picked either. It breaks down the sugars and gives the tomatoes a mealy consistency. Let them sit in the kitchen in a bowl but don’t get them cold! I try never to refrigerate them unless they’re in a sauce and I’ve got leftovers.

I’m done shouting – back to the recipe:

The juices from both fruits will already create a delicious ‘sauce’ –  but I also like to add JUST A LITTLE olive oil and some vinegar. In this case I used white balsamic, but I’ve used rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, and occasionally balsamic. It enhances the flavor and coats all the fruit. Then, a dash of salt and pepper. It’s not a bad idea to let this dish sit for a an hour (longer is fine too, ato room temperature) and really let those flavors combine and dance together.

Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

THE ADD ONS: These are all optional, but I like to add at least ONE herb (sometimes two). Choose from the ideas below to finish off your dish:

MINT – hand torn and drizzled on top is a beautiful garnish and adds contrast, color and flavor.

BASIL – a favorite for many, especially those fans of the traditional caprese salad.

ROSEMARY – another delicious herb to mix in with this… I like Rosemary finely chopped so you don’t get stabbed with what feels like a pine needle.

BURRATA or FRESH MOZZARELLA – these light, semi soft cheeses are fluffy and mild in flavor. Herbs and fruits go so well with them! This dish is great with or without cheese.

From there, how you serve it is up to you – it’s simple to go right into a fresh white bowl – the contrast of the color really pops off of white. OR plate the dishes individually, which is what I did here. If you’ve got a big group, just go with the bowl! Keep it simple!

Enjoy!

 

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