Sensational Salads: Sour Peach Salad and a Smoked Trout, Roasted Capsicum, Peach and Pomegranate Salad
Sensational Salads with Peaches
With the bounty of aromatic stone fruit available now and lighter eating in mind, I would like to share with you two sensational salads made using fresh peaches.
The first is a beautiful sour peach salad that I made recently for special dinner guests and again on Christmas Day. It is a recipe adapted from one in the latest Delicious cookbook, Simply the Best. That in itself is a very fitting title for this salad, which received rave reviews at my place. I have added it my repertoire and I think you will like it too!
The second is my smoked trout, roasted capsicum, peach and pomegranate salad. It is a little fiddly in the preparation, but well worth the effort. I developed this recipe for my ABC radio segment about a decade ago and it was based on a smoked trout salad that I enjoyed at a Canberra eatery.
The key to a sensational salad is to start with perfectly fresh ingredients and dress the salad just before serving to ensure that it stays crisp and tasty.
SOUR PEACH SALAD*
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon palm or soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted chopped macadamias
4 eschalots, thinly sliced
2 cups mixed fresh herbs: mint, coriander, cress, mizuna, rocket
4 slightly firm peaches, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds**
Combine the oil, lime juice, garlic, chilli, fish sauce and soy sauce in a jug or bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Place the remaining ingredients in a salad bowl or platter. Drizzle over the dressing and toss gently to combine. Serves 6-8.
* Adapted from a recipe in Delicious Simply the Best (ABC Books).
SMOKED TROUT, ROASTED CAPSICUM, PEACH & POMEGRANATE SALAD
1 large smoked trout
1 small oak leaf lettuce or a good handful of mesclun mix
8 x cherry tomatoes
4 x baby cucumbers
4 x baby button mushrooms, the smallest and freshest you can find
1-2 white fleshed peaches
small bunch of baby beans
1 bunch asparagus
1 red capsicum, choose a really plump one
1 pomegranate **
a few snow pea sprouts, mizuna or cress, to garnish
1/4 cup viola flowers, to garnish
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Use the dressing of your choice, just a light tasting mixture made with good EVOO and perhaps a sprinkle of raspberry vinegar or fig vino cotto.
Carefully remove the skin and bones from the smoked trout. Flake the meat into pieces and refrigerate until ready to use. Wash and pat dry the vegetables. Top and tail the beans and cut into small lengths. Snap the woody ends from the asparagus and cut into small lengths. Blanch the beans and asparagus very quickly, then plunge into a bowl of cold water, drain and pat dry. Set aside to chill.
** There is a trick to removing the seeds from a pomegranate so that you don't end up with a scene from 'Dexter'. The first time I ever tried, I was assisting Canberra chef, Serif Kaya, of Ottoman Cuisine fame. Serif took one look at the red splatters all over me, shrugged knowingly and shook his head. There is a very good instructional demonstration here, basically you slice into the pomegranate, but don't cut through. Slice into segments and open the fruit out gently. Pull the fruit apart and plunge it upside down into a bowl of lukewarm water. Using your fingers, remove the seeds from the pith and the skin. The pith will float to the top. Scoop it out and rinse the seeds in a strainer or colander. They are now ready to use.
Roast the capsicum in a hot oven until the skin blisters and turns black. Pop the capsicum briefly into a bag and then carefully remove and discard the blackened skin. Cut the flesh away from the seeds. Slice the flesh into strips.
Slice the mushrooms, baby cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Slice the peaches. Trim the ends from the snow pea sprouts. Carefully wash and pat dry the edible flowers.
Arrange the salad leaves or mesclun mix on a large salad platter. Layer with the remaining ingredients, arranging the trout flakes, edible flowers and snow pea sprouts or cress on top. Dress and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.
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