Peach and Basil Salad.
After moving to the South, I quickly noticed an abundance of road-side produce sellers. Some with little wooden shacks, others selling out of the back end of their pickup trucks. I would drive down the road and suddenly see the most glorious melons or deep purple heirloom tomatoes piled high in a gravel turn-off. On one of these occasions, there was a little old man with picnic baskets full of peaches cascading out of the back of his truck! I made a quick u-turn, and parked next to him.
The peaches were radiant! Enormous, flawless...bashfully blushing peaches. Ready to be taken home and devoured in silent dripping reverence!
I ask this charmingly weathered character how much for a whole picnic basket.
"Fo' teen dollas, hunnnnny!"
"Great! Oh, and...are they organic?" I replied.
"Well, shuuuuga, if they was, they'd be full of WARMS! You don't won't warms in yo' peaches, do you baaaaby?"
"I suppose not." I shrugged with a wry smile.
Organic or not, those were the BEST peaches I've ever purchased. There's a reason why the South is famous for them! I often look for my new found friend, when I'm driving down a country road this time of year. I hope he's still around!
In the summer, when the produce is so fresh, I find it hard not to want to eat everything raw, unadulterated. Of course, that takes some of the fun out of cooking! I obviously CAN resist with recipes like mixed berry crostata, fresh tomato tart and summer plum cake. Yet most days I stick with dishes like fresh peaches with basil and chevre. This quick and simple little salad is a wonderful addition to any summertime meal!
The ripest peach is highest on the tree. ~James Whitcomb Riley
Fresh Peaches with Goat Cheese
4-6 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tb. honey
4-6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
½ cup lemon chevre (or plain chevre with a little lemon zest)
A pinch of salt
Place the peaches in a bowl and coat with honey. Sprinkle with salt. Then gently fold in basil and chevre.
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