Thursday, July 18, 2013

Broiled Peach Salad with Watercress, Sugar Snap Peas and Toasted Hazelnuts

Peaches are among the shortlist of foods that I didn't eat as a child that as an adult I hadn't gotten around to eating until recently.

Just a couple weeks ago, Chris and I ducked into Eataly for lunch on a really hot day, looking for replenishing light meal without any heat. We ended up at the vegetable-themed Verdure counter with a delicious salad of grilled peaches and mixed beans. Despite having previously been ambivalent toward peaches, I thought they were really great and I was inspired to make something similar.

Since I don't have a grill, I broiled my peaches, and instead of string beans served them with sugar snap peas and watercress. Although several ingredients in this salad require separate preparation, none of it is particularly time-intensive and you could prepare them ahead of time, particularly the nuts (probably not the peaches).

Broiled Peach Salad with Watercress, Sugar Snap Peas and Toasted Hazelnuts
Inspired by Eataly

Makes 2 large servings

Broiled peaches:
2 white or yellow peaches
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup shelled hazelnuts
8 oz. sugar snap peas
2 cups of fresh watercress leaves

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a medium saucepan filled with about 3 inches of water to boil. Score the peach with a large X crossing at the bottom. Drop the peach into the water and cook for 1 minute. Remove peach, allow to cool then peel by carefully removing the skin by the corners of the X (use a paring knife to remove any peel that doesn't easily come off). Cut the peach in half and remove the pit.

2. Preheat oven broiler with rack in top position (4 to 5 inches from broiler). Place peaches cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Drizzle peaches with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven, cool and slice into wedges.

3. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the hazelnuts and toast until they are lightly browned. Allow to cool then transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the nuts and rub to remove skins.

4. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add the sugar snap peas and boil for 2 minutes. While they boil, prepare a bowl of ice water and when the peas are done, transfer them to the ice water bath to cool.

5. In a large bowl, combine the watercress, toasted hazelnuts, and sugar snap peas. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and toss to coat. Serve the salad in shallow bowls topped with the broiled peach wedges.

1 comment:

  1. Grilling peaches is inspired, and broiling them turns out to be a pretty good substitute. Thanks for recreating that great meal from Eataly!