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Food & Entertaining

Summer Tomato and Peach Salad

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: June, 2014, Page 44

This quintessential summer salad is not only simple and beautiful, it pairs two flavor stars of the summer garden: fresh tomatoes and peaches.

Use a variety of tomatoes—including heirlooms—of various colors, sizes and shapes. The juicy, ripe taste of the peach’s skin at the height of the season is a sweet counterpoint to the savory and acidic tomatoes. A garnish of fresh mint, basil and parsley creates the perfect depth of flavor for this showy salad.

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes in your garden, local heirloom tomatoes are available at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets. It is best not to store tomatoes in the refrigerator, as doing so will diminish their taste. Instead, leave them on the counter to ripen and develop maximum flavor.

When shopping for peaches, look for ripe, unblemished fruit. Because peaches do not store well, only buy what you can use.

An eastern exposure is ideal if you want to have your own peach tree, as they enjoy afternoon shade. Early ripening varieties do best in the Phoenix area. Look for: Earligrande, Florida Prince, Desert Gold or Bonanza. Plant bare-root peach trees in the late fall or winter.

Serves 4


1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 pound ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
1/4 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup goat or Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh herbs (include some basil, flat leaf parsley and mint), finely chopped

3 tablespoons reserved
red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon local honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)
Photo by Garrett Cook

COMBINE onion slices and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; set aside to soak while preparing the salad (5-10 minutes).

ADD peaches, tomatoes and crumbled cheese in a shallow serving dish.

REMOVE onion slices from vinegar; reserve vinegar.

SPRINKLE onions over salad.
PLACE 3 tablespoons of reserved red wine vinegar, along with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make dressing; whisk to combine.

SPOON dressing over salad and garnish with chopped fresh herbs.

Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale.

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