Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Gasp: Peach & Tomato Salad with Bocconcini

"When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is."  ~ Alice Waters 

I know you're doing it too.  Gulping in the last bits of summer before they fade into the upcoming autumn.  Somehow I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that next week is September.  September!  But I can smell change in the air.  The last couple of nights have been cool and rainy here.  Heck, I even had to pull out an extra blanket for the bed.  And I'm wearing socks, inside the house!  This hasn't happened since June.  My hands are outstretched, pleading with summer not to go.  But like all great loves, I know I made the most of it while it was mine.  In the end, that's all that really matters, isn't it? 

The best stuff is at the market now.  Hitting it up is a highlight of my week - vendor stalls are bursting with colourful goodness.  The peaches have been especially extraordinary - I can't get enough.  Sometimes I'm completely uncivilized, eating one whilst standing over the sink and letting the juices run wild on my face.  The cats look up at me, no doubt wondering who is this crazy person, oohing and ahhing.   Sometimes I'm more behaved, slicing them neatly and topping a puddle of Greek yogurt with their deliciousness.  Breakfast of champs, that.  I like to think that eating them daily is good for my constitution.  Hot damn, peaches make me happy.  It's at the point of the season where I dread asking the vendor how long he will have them coming from British Columbia.  I'm already bracing myself for the bad news.  I figure I've got a few weeks, tops.

So lets talk about this salad.  It really is just a few simple, good seasonal ingredients tossed together.  The better tasting the peaches and tomatoes, the better tasting this salad will be.  So, use the ripest, juiciest, absolute best you can get your hands on.  I snipped some mint from the garden, but basil would be lovely, too.  For whatever reason, the basil gods hate me.  Can't seem to grow the stuff.  If you have any tips, let me know.  Any sort of fresh mozzarella works.  There was a tub of bocconcini on sale at the grocers, so that's what I used, but I imagine burrata would be mind blowing.  Just drizzle with your best olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Have a fresh baguette close by to sop up the juices.  It's a love poem, this dish.  Dedicated to the one and only: summer.

Peach and Tomato Salad with Bocconcini

2 peaches, sliced
handful tomatoes, sliced
handful bocconcini
handful mint or basil
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

On a platter, scatter the peaches, tomatoes, cheese, herbs.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves one person. 


  1. Such a beautiful salad, Renee! I am definitely soaking in the last days of summer. Thankfully, after a generally cooler and wetter summer than usual, we are having some heat here for our last week of August!

  2. No! I'm not ready for summer to end Renee! Like you, eating at least one peach a day feels so good to me - body and soul!
    A thought about your basil growing bad luck, have you tried other varietal, like the little micro basil sometimes known as bush basil? Bush basil is super easy to grow and it's so delicate and delish. Also it doesn't bolt nearly as quickly as the standard stuff. We're also having a lot of luck with purple basil this year.
    Renee, your photos today are breathtakingly beautiful, as always!

  3. Jennifer - Thank you! Enjoy these last hot days!
    Erin - Thanks friend for all of the tips. Will try next year, fingers crossed :)

  4. Where is burrata available in Stoon? Making this salad for dinner tonight!


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