Thursday, July 11, 2013
It feels like full-on summertime right now. And nothing makes me happier. My one summer ritual is to go to the Farmer's Market each Saturday morning and buy a bag of fresh peaches. In summer, I don't think you can really have too many peaches. I'm reminded of that hilarious Will Ferrell SNL "More Cowbell!" skit about Blue Oyster Cult recording the song "(Don't Fear) the Reaper."
At the climax of the skit, THE Bruce Dickinson (aka Christopher Walken) exclaims, "Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!" I kind of feel the same way about summer. I got a fever and the only prescription is more peaches! I've been muddling them, grilling them, freezing them, you name it. This is my latest preparation.
I think I actually made it three times in a week. Peaches, asparagus and goat cheese prove to be a fantastic combination for a salad. It's delicious, not to mention healthy.
I can kind of fall off the health wagon on the weekends, so it's nice to find something I can really savor that I don't have to feel guilty about (unlike the pizza-by-the-slice at 2 am).
The dish really comes together quickly too, which is a bonus because I'd rather spend the day's "golden hour" outside instead of manning a bunch of pans in the kitchen. And I believe it would pair with almost anything: a burger, rib-eye, BBQ chicken, turkey sandwich, quiche.....
While the components of the salad can be prepared ahead of time, you do have to wait to slice the peaches until you're ready to serve the salad to avoid discoloration. The reward is great for very little effort.
So go out and get some fresh peaches and enjoy the glory of summer!
Peach and Asparagus Salad
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced on the bias in 1-in pieces
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, divided
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp shallot, diced
5-6 cups of mixed salad greens
1 Persian cucumber, halved and sliced in half-moons
2 peaches, thinly sliced lengthwise
2-3 oz crumbled goat cheese (I personally love Humbolt Fog)
1/4 cup almonds, chopped and toasted
Salt and pepper
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the asparagus in one tsp olive oil for about 4 minutes until bright green yet tender. Add garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and squeeze the juice from half the lemon on it. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, juice from the remaining lemon half, shallot, dijon mustard, and 3 Tbsp olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Top with the asparagus, cucumber, cheese, almonds and peaches. Serve immediately.
Posted by SB in SB at 8:51 PM