It's another scorcher out there, and I have enjoyed not one but two swims today. I've been meaning to share a stone fruit dessert recipe with you, but truth is the only baking I'm doing lately is when I am lolling about in the open air swimming pool, soaking up some delicious Vitamin D from the sun.
On the way home from swimming, I've been frequenting the greengrocer's section at an independent supermarket not far from the city: the Ainslie IGA, which has long been in the Xyrakis family. I have known current owners, Irene and her older brother, Manuel, since the 1960s, when we went to school together.
In my humble opinion, the Ainslie IGA is the best supermarket in Canberra. The produce sold in this bustling supermarket is of exceptional freshness and quality. My favourites include the tasty heirloom tomatoes; Lebanese cucumbers, which are so crisp and fresh they still have the flowers attached; plump oak leaf lettuces; and avocados and stone fruits galore. It's all so good, I cannot help but fill my basket.
For lunches and evening meals, I've been shaking the fridge, creating a range of interesting salads, including this one, which showcases the sweet white-fleshed Australian peaches that are in abundance right now. Simple to prepare, fresh and full of flavour, this salad sits beautifully with smoked trout, and is also the perfect partner to lamb cutlets or little pork chipolatas.
SALAD OF GRILLED PEACHES, AVOCADO, POMEGRANATE & LIME
2 white-fleshed peaches
a handful of oak leaf lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
a handful of baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry, stalks removed
2 baby cucumbers, sliced longways
1/2 an avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon pomegranate arils*
1/2 a lime, to serve
chilli oil, to serve (optional)
freshly cracked black pepper, to season
Wash the peaches and pat them dry. Slice them in half and remove and discard the stones. Heat a ribbed grill pan and flash-grill the peaches, cut side down. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce and baby spinach leaves on a serving platter and finish with the slices of grilled peach, cucumber and avocado. Dress with the pomegranate arils, a scattering of pepper, a sprinkle of chilli oil and lime juice, and finish with a wedge of lime. Serves 2.
* The pomegranates available in Australia now have been imported from the USA. Once I have removed the arils from the pith of the pomegranate, I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They are a summertime favourite.
It's your turn now dear readers, tell me, do you ever shake the fridge to create a meal? And do you love pomegranate as much as I do?
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.