Don’t you just adore this time of year? There is gorgeous produce in abundance and the weather is perfect for outdoor dining with friends and family. I love any excuse to get together and share food with others. Conversation and laughs come easy and the kids run around happily. I’m usually the one to bring a salad to any gathering. This one is this summer’s favourite. It’s a heady combination of ingredients. A little bit decadent but perfectly balanced. Roasting peaches gives their sweetness a caramel edge. It goes surprisingly well in savoury preparations. Especially when paired with the saltiness of an ingredient like prosciutto.
Excitingly, my friends at Lewis Road have just ventured into the world of cider. There are 3 varieties. Each delicately infused with either orange, apple or peach. I took a particular liking to the peach one and was excited when Lewis Road asked me to create a recipe that was inspired by it.
They are using delicious organic apples from the Bostock family orchard in Hawke’s Bay to make the cider and it’s brewed by Mills Reef (makers of one of my fav syrahs). All the right components! It’s perfect to share with friends.
I really like that the Lewis Road Orchard ciders are much less sweet than loads of others I’ve tried. Just the right amount of crisp, with a botanical scent.
Perhaps this weekend is a great time to give this recipe a go? It's looks like we're in for lots more of this incredibly hot weather. Take advantage of it and hit the beach with a little feast in tow!
Roasted peach, prosciutto, & mozzarella salad w/ rocket and quinoa
Serves 4-6 as a side
2 ripe peaches
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil for roasting
½ cup quinoa
1 cup chicken stock
100g wild rocket leaves
1 large ball fresh mozzarella - approx 150g
Large handful fresh basil – roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
45ml good quality olive oil
1 small garlic clove – finely diced
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Remove the stone from the peaches and slice into wedges. Toss with the lemon juice and olive oil. Place in a small oven-proof dish. Roast for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Rinse the quinoa very well. Place in a saucepan with the stock over a high heat. Bring to a boil, before reducing to a simmer and cooking with a lid slightly ajar for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place the lid on tightly and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool completely before assembling the salad. If you need the quinoa to cool quickly, you can spread it out on a plate.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Season well.
Assemble salad just before serving. Toss the rocket, quinoa and half the basil with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Spread on a large plate or platter. Top with the peaches, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and basil. Scatter over cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.