It’s been an interesting two weeks. Lots of events and emotions to process. Learning things about myself, about the things that are important and how to save my energy for the things – and folks – that really matter. I turned 35 this year and I really feel like I’ve learned a whole lot about myself in the eight short months of this year. With all that stuff rattling around in my head, working on a recipe that basically cooks itself was a welcome relief. Being in the kitchen and cooking is therapeutic, certainly…but sometimes doing something easy leaves room in your head for lots of other stuff that matters.
Shauna‘s recent cooking events have been a wonderful way for me to branch out of my normal routine and try some new things in the kitchen. She got me to make pie, for goodness sake. Wanting to preserve the last of the locally grown peaches, I did a quick pickle on some almost-ripe slices and mixed it up with a bit of heat. The tiniest Thai red chili swirled into the vinegar gave each bite a bit of heat that was so complimentary to the sweetness of the fruit. Add some bites of smokey blue cheese, crunchy pecans and soft Maché leaves…and it’s a wonderfully harmonious salad or cheese course (if you go a little heavier on the blue cheese or slice it to layer with the peaches).
Spicy Pickled Peaches with Blue Cheese, Maché and Pecans – serves 4 as a salad or fruit & cheese course – inspired by a recipe in a Daily Candy email I got a long time ago & can’t find now.
– For the peaches: In a medium mixing bowl, quickly whisk together the minced chili and the champagne vinegar. Mix in the sliced peaches and toss to coat thoroughly. Either cover tightly with plastic wrap or place peaches & liquid in a tightly sealed jar. Marinate 3 hours to overnight – this all depends on the texture of the peaches you like. I like mine still firm so I erred on the 3 hours side. Also, I shook the bowl gently to swish them around every hour or so when I went to the fridge for a glass of water or something.
– To assemble the salads: Divide the peaches into 4 plates – I drained the pickling liquid off by fishing them out of the bowl with a slotted spoon. Arrange on your serving plates and crumble 1 ounce of Blue cheese on each. Evenly divide the loose greens and the pecans. Finish each plate with fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Serve immediately.