Saturday, September 12, 2015

Spicy Peach Panzanella



Shauna describes a peach salad she has recently relished. She finds this recipe on a blog she reads. Waxing lyrical about the scrumptious taste of peaches, burrata and grilled sourdough, she volunteers to make the salad for us. We go in search of fresh peaches at the farmers market. Seasonal and plentiful, those peaches don't quite live up to expectations. My unspoken rule about fruit....they should have a lingering fragrance. Plainly speaking, a peach should smell like a peach! We go through the process of lifting peach after peach, trying to inhale that inherent aroma. Little success, as none of the picked fruit smell remotely like peach. We try the same at the supermarket and return with fragrant California grown peaches. She sautes sliced peaches in olive oil. Makes a dressing with Sriracha and lime juice. Grills sourdough slices. Tears burrata apart with her fingers. The resulting salad is a one bowl delight !!! We fight over remaining bits.

Shauna has a prescient palate for things we love to eat. Our conversations often verge on what's for dinner and related food talk.  Her veggies come from a CSA and cooks with a great deal of savoir faire.  We both share a love for everything that goes into this salad. 

A few days have passed and the craving to eat this salad again surfaces! Peaches are sliced and sautéed. I toast slices of sourdough. A dressing is quickly whipped up.  Assembly starts with a bed of arugula, followed by grilled sourdough, sautéed peaches, shredded burrata, basil and dressing. Beautiful to look at, this salad is both an eye and tummy pleaser.


SPICY PEACH PANZANELLA 
Adapted from iamafoodblog.com
Makes 2 generous portions

2 tree-ripe Peaches
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 heaped cups Arugula 
1 ball Burrata 
5-7 Basil leaves
2 slices Sourdough bread
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Lime juice 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Fresh cracked Black Pepper 




Wash and dry peaches. Halve peaches, remove pits and slice into 1/2 inch segments.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pan and add peach slices to pan. Saute for 3-4 minutes on a medium high flame.

Grill or toast sourdough slices. Chop bread into bite size pieces.

Mix Sriracha sauce, sugar, olive oil and lime juice in a bowl. Season with a pinch of Kosher salt.

Assemble the salad in a bowl or platter starting with arugula.

Top arugula with sourdough pieces.

Scatter peaches over bread.

Rip burrata into small shreds and drop over peaches.

Shred basil and scatter over salad.

Season salad with salt and pepper.

Drizzle dressing generously over salad before serving.




NOTES

I prefer tree ripened peaches as they have optimum flavor. You could use canned peaches in a pinch.

Burrata cheese is my number one choice. Fresh buffalo mozzarella is an adequate substitute. 





Lunch constitutes a huge platter of salad. Warm peaches, glazed with spicy dressing, dotted with oozing burrata, sit atop slightly bitter arugula. Contrasting tastes of crunchy sourdough and soft peaches are piquant and luscious. This is a hands-on salad as I use fingers to cut peaches, pile the arugula, cut bread, tear the cheese and basil. That being said, it's time for a fork, all we need to demolish our lunch.