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Aug 18, 2017 3:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Make Salad With Peaches While They're At Their Peak

Peaches and heirloom tomato salad. JANEEN SARLIN
Aug 21, 2017 9:32 AM

Peaches are at their peak. Once you’ve had your fill of freshly sliced peaches and cream, try this peach, eggplant, and tomato salad. All the ingredients are from the farm stand and there’s not a better time to serve it as a side dish with grilled fish, chicken or steak for dinner this week.

A former “trendy” watermelon and tomato salad was on every restaurant menu. But if you haven’t tasted peaches and tomatoes together, tonight is the perfect time to try it. It’s fast, festive, and refreshing.

Your weekend guests will love peach cobbler that’s reminiscent of peaches and scones for breakfast. However, you can make it for dessert with equal success.

When choosing a peach, look for unblemished nonbruised and intensely fragrant fruit that gives slightly to palm pressure. For the best flavor, serve peaches at room temperature. For easy peeling, drop peaches in boiling water until the skin slips under pressure from your thumb, about 25 to 30 seconds. Plunge into cold water immediately to prevent “cooking” them. Bon appétit!

Peach, Eggplant
And Tomato Salad(Serves 4-5)Canola oil for sautéing

1 Asian eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

Wondra flour for dusting

Coarse sea salt

2 large ripe/firm peaches, pitted and grilled

Lemon juice for drizzling

4 Kirby cucumbers, scrubbed and cubed

About 1 and 1/2 cups red and yellow cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup spearmint leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup baby arugula leavesFor the dressing:1 large lime, zest grated and juice squeezed

About 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

About 1 tablespoon fig-infused white balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteTo prepare:In a skillet over medium-high heat, coat the bottom with oil.

Dust the eggplant with Wondra flour and, working in batches, sauté the eggplant in a single layer, turning often until golden brown and tender, about three minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.

Cut peaches in half, remove the pit and drizzle with lemon juice.

On hot grill, place peaches cut side down and cook until grill marks appear, about one minute. Transfer peaches to a plate, and cut into thin slices.

Meanwhile, whisk the lime zest and juice together with oil and vinegar until blended.

Add salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasonings.

In a large bowl, toss cucumbers, tomatoes and peaches together and drizzle with half of the dressing, add salt and pepper. Taste and let stand for a few minutes.To serve:Cover a large platter with arugula and spoon the salad on top. Scatter eggplant and herb leaves over the entire affair. Drizzle with a little more vinaigrette and serve at once.Tossed Peaches 
And Tomatoes(Serves 4)2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, cored and cubed

1 large ripe peach, halved, pitted and cubed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small shallot, diced

1 to 2 teaspoons champagne or white balsamic vinegar

About 2 tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil

Optional: Fresh mint or your favorite herb leaves, choppedTo prepare:Gently toss tomatoes and peach together and add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, whisk shallot and vinegar together and slowly whisk in the oil. Drizzle just enough dressing over the tomatoes and peaches until they glisten.

Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with mint.Fresh Peach Cobbler(Serves 8)1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup water

2 quarts peeled and sliced fresh peaches

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small piecesFor the crust:2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

1 cup half and half or milk

Optional: 2 cups heavy cream for toppingTo prepare:Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter a three-quart baking/serving casserole dish and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, mix together the sugar and cornstarch, add lemon juice and water.

Bring to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Set the pan off the heat, stir in peaches and almond extract and pour peaches into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle cinnamon over them and dot the top with butter and set aside.For the crust: Working in the food processor, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.

Add the cold pieces of butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal. (As if your were making a pie crust.)

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour milk into the center of the meal and stir with a fork until it forms soft dough.

Using a big soup spoon, drop the dough in an even pattern on top of the warm fruit. Bake at 400 degrees F until the top is golden brown and the biscuit dough is done, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Can be served warm or at room temperature. Pass the cream at the table to pour over the cobbler. If serving the cobbler as a dessert, top with whipped cream or ice cream.

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