When I think of a quintessential summer food, I often think of sun-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, mixed with torn basil and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I eat that combination so frequently during the warm months, you’d think I was more of a tried-and-true type than a variety-lover in the kitchen. Fresh mozzarella has many other delightful uses, of course – a couple of my favorites are homemade pizza and vegetable sandwiches. However, the market has rosy, juicy peaches now. And what the market has is what I eat.
Fruit has such fleeting seasons around here. One moment we’re making strawberry jam and popsicles and cake and salads. Mere weeks later, those sweet little rubies have disappeared from market tables. We’re in the thick of blueberries and peaches now, and Michigan grows both bursting with flavor.
The next time you pick up peaches, try this delicious salad. You can change the amount of ingredients to suit your tastes – I always think salads are just suggestions, not specifics. The amounts listed below serve two for dinner, or four as a side.
Roasted Peach, Fresh Mozzarella and Chive Salad
8 oz spicy greens (arugula, mizuna, whatever you have on hand!)
2 firm but ripe peaches, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 – 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into medium-thick pieces
handful of fresh chives, chopped
1/4 small red onion, as thin as you can slice it
Dijon-White Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1 – 2 tsp. honey, to taste
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 F. Slice your peaches, mozzarella and red onion, and chop your chives. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your peaches on it so they are not touching. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until warm and juicy. In a bowl or on a platter, toss your clean, dry salad greens and arrange the rest of the ingredients on top.
In a small glass bowl with a spout, whisk together dressing ingredients, tasting as you go, so it is to your liking. (Alternatively, you could shake all ingredients in a small mason jar with a lid.)
Drizzle dressing on top of the salad. It won’t need much to highlight the flavors. Happy summer dining!