05 December 2007

Peach Salad with Farmer's Ham, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola

Peach Salad (with title)
I realize I've been taunting my friends overseas like an ass with the availability of some summer fruit here. You will take comfort in the fact that they usually don't taste as great as they do when they're in season. However, I've wanted to make a peach salad for the longest time, but they don't seem to appear these days in the special fruit stand. At the risk of being beaten with sticks by my peers, I opted to use Dole sliced peaches in light syrup. It's the closest, I guess, to fresh fruit, which is firm and not overly sweetened like the Del Monte ones in heavy syrup (mushy and sugary). I highly recommend it. And this was the perfect opportunity to use up my leftover cheese.

The thing is, it's so easy to forget this holiday season that just because it's cold out, it doesn't mean we need all that extra insulation. I can't count how many times I took advantage of a feast and ended up feeling shitty the next day. So in between those feasts, be good to yourself and eat healthily-- but well. (Recipe follows)
You could use a yogurt-based dressing here: honey dijon is just my preference (as you may have read before).

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon dijon-style mustard

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3/4 cup safflower oil

Thoroughly combine all the ingredients except the oil in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking madly until well-emulsified. I suppose you could use a food processor to do everything, but I don't have one.

  • 1 fresh peach, cut into 1/2" wedges or 8 peach slices in light syrup

  • Mixed greens (Romaine, Lollo Rossa, Rocket/ Arugula, Curly leaf lettuce, Frisée-- go crazy.)

  • 4 thin slices Parma ham, Farmer's Ham, Parma Ham, or Guanciale

  • 50g (2oz) Gorgonzola cheese

  • Few shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese

  • A handful of walnuts, chopped

If using peaches in syrup, drain them very well and pat slightly dry between paper towels. On a very hot grill, lay down all the peach slices for 2-3 minutes, or until they get dark grill marks, then set aside. Arrange the mixed greens in a bowl and wave the ham decoratively among them. Top with the peach slices, cheeses, and walnuts, then drizzle the dressing over.

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