The Salty Dog's Blog
Peach & Tomato Salad
This unusual salad combines the voluptuous sweetness of peaches with the warm, just-picked flavor of summer tomatoes. Fennel contributes spiciness, and toasted hazelnuts add a welcome crunch. The salad is at its best when prepared with the juiciest fruit available at the peak of summer. If peaches are mealy, try substituting nectarines. For maximum flavor, you'll need to make up the fennel oil two days in advance. Serve with fish, chicken or pork, on a buffet or with focaccia and a few cheeses for lunch.
1/4 cup hazelnuts
4 large ripe peaches, yellow or white
4 medium-large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, finely crushed
Sea salt or black Cyprus sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly chopped parsley, fennel fronds, basil, or mint, alone or in any combination you like
To toast the nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a cake pan and bake, stirring halfway through, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and place in a clean dish towel. Wrap them in the towel and rub together to loosen the skins. Pick out the nuts, coarsely chop them, and set them aside. Discard the skins.
To make the salad
Cut each peach in half through the stem end and remove the pit. Place the peaches cut sides down and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Core and cut the tomatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the fruit on a platter, alternating the colors.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, fennel seeds and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon the dressing over the fruit, scatter with reserved hazelnuts, and top the salad with chopped herbs of choice.
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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