October 26, 2014

Just peachy: a summer salad

Summer peach salad

It is a great summer day and the third day of the heat wave in Connecticut. It is too hot for the beach so Joy and I decide to do a little shopping in downtown Fairfield. It is an  amazing little town, something like a little New York City with tons of restaurants and unique little shops. As we strolled along we came across a new store, called Dash N’ Drizzle, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar and specialty store. Now this is the kind of bar we Twice Baked Twinners like!

The specialty shop is absolutely beautiful. The walls are lined with shiny silver vats ready for sampling and an aroma to die for perfumes the air. A man with a wonderful Italian accent and skin as golden as the gourmet olive oils they display, greets you and lets you sip, sip and sip again all of the many flavor infused oils and vinegars, all while giving you a lesson on each one!

We had no idea what we were getting into before it started. And we probably drank 20 shots of olive oil or vinegar a piece. Our skin never felt so supple!

Our minds were racing with all sorts of ideas and recipes in which to use the fragrant oils and vinegars. We came up with a simple grilled peach salad layered with a fresh mozzarella cheese. The presentation is fabulous and the flavors were sweet and pleasing for this very warm weather. Try it, let us know what you think.

And join us every Tuesday as we share great recipes and entertaining ideas on Better CT, Channel 3 at 3 p.m.

 

Summer peach salad

Summer peach salad: grilling them brings out the flavor.

Just a Peach of a Salad!

The flavored vinegar adds a little something extra to this gorgeous salad of grilled peaches and fresh mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

 

5 peaches

3/4 lb fresh mozzarella, in 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 shallot, minced

good quality olive oil

peach vinegar**

sea salt

cracked black pepper

basil or parsley leaves for garnish

 

cooking spray for grill

 

salad greens

 

Cut peaches into 28 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)

Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with olive oil. Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Set aside.

*Note: You can also use an indoor grill pan to get those beautiful grill marks on the peaches.

Arrange whichever green you have chosen evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer 4 grilled peach rounds and 4 cheese slices over greens on each plate. Top each with 3 more peach rounds. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with flavored vinegar and a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper.  Garnish with basil leaves or fresh parsley. Yum!