To make the salad, red onion was thinly sliced on a Benriner mandoline and then left to soak in cold water to take off some sharpness and to make them extra crisp. I also sliced the radishes on the mandolin and soaked them in cold water. The peaches were pitted and cut into thin wedges. An easy vinaigrette was made with champagne vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. The drained vegetables, peach wedges, and some chopped basil were tossed with the vinaigrette and placed on platter. The salad was topped with crumbled feta, more chiffonade of basil, and toasted almonds.
It’s a crunchy, savory, tangy, and sweet kind of salad, and I loved the mix of flavors. It was a perfect match for some grilled, Gulf shrimp. I’m deciding what to make next and thinking about the Farmstead Cheese Strata with Roasted Tomato Wine Butter. There’s also a Vanilla Carrot Cream Tart that I can’t wait to taste. There’s a lot to like about this book, and I predict its pages will be food-splattered from frequent use.
Peach and Radish Salad with French Feta and Almonds
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook by Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson published by The Taunton Press in 2013.
Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink | Miami, Florida
French feta cheese is typically made with sheep milk and tends to be milder and creamier than Greek feta. Its understated flavor nicely complements the sweetness of the peaches and the bright, peppery notes of the basil and radishes. Cheesemakers across the country are making a wide range of sheep milk cheeses, including French-style feta. Look for your own local source.
1/2 small red onion
3 to 4 Easter Egg or French Breakfast radishes
4 or 5 ripe peaches (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 cup French feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Thinly slice the onions on a mandoline or with a very sharp knife. You should end up with about 1⁄4 cup. Fill a small bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes and soak the onions for 5 minutes; this mellows the sharp bite typical of raw onions and makes them crisp. Drain the onions and pat dry with paper towels. Thinly slice the radishes on the mandoline.
Halve and pit the peaches. Cut each half into quarters and slice the quarters into thin wedges. Combine the oil and vinegar in a bowl with some salt and black pepper and whisk to combine. Add the peaches, onions, radishes, and basil, tossing gently to evenly coat the ingredients. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Divide the salad equally among six plates and top with the crumbled feta and toasted almonds.
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