The name of this recipe may not suggest it, but I am keeping this post simple. September in our household, like many others, is charged with activity. As a teacher it signals a break in my summer routine into a much more strict daily routine. It means that aside from being back to work, transporting my step kids to hockey practice is right around the corner, and I need to start being more mindful about meal planning so I can keep healthy, homemade meals a priority.
Summer seems to lend a little more wiggle room when it comes to meal planning. Since my husband worked the afternoon shift this summer “we” tended to stay up late and sleep later than I do during the school year. That also meant our meals were a bit off kilter. In the summer our counter is always full of fresh garden vegetables and I always have fresh fruit in the house. I also keep hard boiled eggs, cheese, olives, salami and packets of tuna on hand. Therefore, I can always rely on a quick salad or vegetable plate for a makeshift dinner. However, once winter comes – I know that we tend to reach for more unhealthy “comfort foods” so I need to keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand.
Since life is often fraught with increased activity in September, I did want to offer you a simple salad to tantalize your taste buds and fuel your body. I could have easily called it Peach Salad with Basil, and Roasted Tomatoes. However, I am an English teacher and wordsmith. I also believe that food is a sensory experience. We need to eat with our eyes, tongue, and even our minds. Presentation is important. So is the relationship we make to the words and language we use to describe food. Words can make the most simple and meager meal a feast. It is all about appreciation.
I love the combination of balsamic vinegar with fruit and berries. Even a small drizzle of aged balsamic brings out their juicy sweetness. Another combination that I am wild about is basil with peaches and/or nectarines. Thus, the inspiration for this recipe.
STONE FRUIT SALAD WITH BASIL, & BLISTERED TOMATOES
*2 cups of kale, spinach, or your favorite salad greens (I used kale)
*1 peach cut into slices
*1 nectarine cut into slices
*1 cup of halved grape or cherry tomatoes
*Handful of basil – julienned
*Tablespoon of finely sliced red onion
*2 Tablespoons of feta cheese
*2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
*3 Tablespoons of olive oil
*Salt and pepper
On a tin foil lined baking sheet, spread out the halved tomatoes. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees (until the tomatoes blister). Plate up the kale, peach, and nectarine. In a small bowl add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix.
I like to add the tomatoes to the salad while they are still warm (but you can cool if you prefer). Roasting tomatoes intensifies their flavor and sweetness, however, you could skip roasting them and add them to the salad fresh.
Add the tomatoes to the salad and sprinkle with the feta, onion, and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic and olive oil. Enjoy!
As we get ready to say goodbye to summer I hope you enjoy this salad. I made it several times over the past couple of months because I know that I will miss the taste of peaches and nectarines this coming winter.
Make sure you check out my salad tab at the top of the page for a bounty of recipes that include fresh fruit and vegetables.