a peach and a pickle August 10, 2011

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.

  • 4 small almost-ripe peaches, pits removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small Thai red chili, minced – if that level of heat isn’t your thing, remove the seeds from the chili or use a Jalapeno or another milder pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality champagne vinegar
  • 4 ounces good quality soft Blue cheese – I used Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted or untoasted (your preference)
  • 2 cups loosely packed Maché or baby arugula leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

– 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.

Comments

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen Aug 10, 2011 02:08 pm

I want food that cooks itself all the time. This looks perfect. Nuts, cheese, fruit and argula – love the combo.

Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane Aug 10, 2011 02:08 pm

A great post and gorgeous recipe. I also learned a ton about myself when I turned 35. Maybe that’s the magic number for some? And, in the two years since, I can confidently say it’s only gotten better. Here’s to that being the case for you, as well!

Hannah Aug 10, 2011 02:08 pm

Happy to join in the pickle party with you! Your peaches look so delicious. We have terrific peaches right now and I’ll have to try your recipe.

Enjoy time with your loved ones and keep putting energy towards what really matters to you. We should all be living this way! Be well.

Sean Aug 10, 2011 02:08 pm

You’ll post this to Punk Domestics, pretty please?

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga Aug 10, 2011 03:08 pm

Tami it looks so good and I really enjoyed your post on Kitchen Gourmande, too!

Broderick Aug 10, 2011 03:08 pm

These photos are gorgeous, I hate that the Georgia peach season is winding down! I’ve got to make this.

jaclyn Aug 10, 2011 07:08 pm

this is a gorgeous salad, Tami! i’ve never pickled a fruit before, but i’m thinking it’s time to try my hand at it.

i’d never pickled anything prior to the french pickled garlic i made for the pickling party, and now i’m hopelessly obsessed. i pretty much want to pickle everything in sight!

Liz @The Happ Space Aug 10, 2011 07:08 pm

Wow, this has definitely inspired me to try pickling. I can’t wait to eat the outcome!

Russell at Chasing Delicious Aug 10, 2011 10:08 pm

This salad looks so refreshing and perfect for summer. Gorgeous shots too! I’ve never had pickled peaches but now I’m itching to try them.

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com Aug 10, 2011 11:08 pm

That looks so pretty, colorful and delicious Tami!!! FYI, I truly enjoyed your post at Sylvie’s blog :)

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Aug 11, 2011 08:08 am

A beautiful and interesting combination of flavors, textures and colors! And, as always, a drop-dead gorgeous photograph.

Lisa (This Little Piggy) Aug 11, 2011 10:08 am

Very pretty – lovely photo. Love adding chili to the dressing. I’m going to miss the peaches, come fall!

Nelly Rodriguez Aug 11, 2011 01:08 pm

The peaches look gorgeous, thanks for sharing dear!

marla Aug 11, 2011 08:08 pm

This is a fun way to serve peaches – love how you say it can become more of a cheese plate by simply adding more cheese :)

a pickling party Aug 12, 2011 07:08 am

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Mairi @ Toast Aug 14, 2011 03:08 am

Beautiful, what a pretty salad & what a great combination of flavours. Spicy peaches, creamy salty blue cheese, sweet nutty pecans…yum!

Lisa Teiger Aug 22, 2011 01:08 pm

Love the contrast of sweet and spicy.
Will have to hit the farmers market here in NYC this week to find good peaches.

Visited the Rogue River Creamery this summer in Oregon – their cheese is heaven on earth.

Recently made fresh strawberry jam using thai bird chilis and some fresh meyer lemon. Outstanding. Used it to make a rosemary infused crusted “Pop Tart” oh my!

Georgia Pecans Aug 23, 2011 09:08 am

These recipes will only get better and more fresh as pecan season is quickly upon us. Nothing like using the freshest ingredients!

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Kathy - Panini Happy Aug 31, 2011 03:08 pm

Wow, pickled peaches – I would really love to taste those!

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