Seasonal Ingredient: Peaches

Native to China, where they were a potent symbol of immortality, peaches are nonetheless synonymous with Ontario fruit. So much so, that Miss Winona Peach is crowned every year at the Winona Peach festival near where I grew up in Hamilton.

For this recipe, I am using late summer peaches, the best for cooking. Varieties include Fairhaven and Belle of Georgia. On a bbq or smoking hot grill pan on your cooktop, grill them cut side down for just a few minutes to create a sweet and smoky addition to any savoury dish, or for an adult take on dessert, serve with bourbon whipped cream. Here I have combined these vibrant and perfumed Persian plums (the name the Romans gave to them) with different greens and peas, and the addition of creamy Greek feta to balance the smoke with milky sweetness.

Grilled Peach Salad with Peas, Feta, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas, Mint and Dill

Serves 6 as a side salad, 4 as a main course

Ingredients:

4 late summer peaches, halved and stones removed
1 cup sugar snap peas, julienned
1 cup fresh shelled peas, blanched
1 ¼ cup goat feta, crumbled
Small bunch spinach
1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
1 bunch dill, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaked sea salt
Black pepper
Vincotto

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to high or if using a cast iron grill, heat to smoking. Place peaches cut side down until charred, then rotate them 90 degrees to achieve those grill marks.
  2. Arrange on a plate and then add the spinach, goat feta, snap peas, blanched peas, mint and dill.
  3. Drizzle with the fantastic extra virgin olive oil, vincotto, and season with flaked sea salt or other great finishing salt and black pepper.

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