Oddity Salad

August 23, 2010

I don’t know why I decided to try this salad, because I was pretty sure that I was going to hate it.

See, I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like to  mix her sweet and savory food. In my opinion, sweet food should be sweet and savory food should be savory, and never the twain shall meet.  It’s one of the reasons I dread the arrival of the autumn food magazines–fall is a sweet/savory circus.  A circus with a bunch of scary clowns.

I haven’t even gotten my first fall food rag yet, and I can already tell you what’s comin’. Pork chops with braised apples and raisins. Chicken with peach chutney. Lamb tagine with prunes and apricots. Seared duck with cherry sauce. BLARGGGHH, people! Sweet + savory = seven kinds of wrong!

But then this summer, I revisited this salad and found it delicious. I watched chefs on the Food Network make salads with watermelon, mint and feta that looked intriguing. And then I saw this recipe for Summer Peach and Tomato Salad in Cooking Light’s June issue and thought, “Maybe?”

I still was on the fence about it, but then on a trip to the grocery store (tangent: am I the only one who feels like she freaking lives at the grocery store?  All of the checkers at my grocery store know my name and, more disturbing, some of them even have nicknames for me. It’s odd and rather sad).  Ahem. Anyways, I was at my second home, Kroeger, when I walked past a pile of fragrant Palisade peaches. If you live in Colorado, you probably know the beauty of a Palisade peach–and the rarity. They’re only available for a month or so–two if you’re lucky–and they’re absolutely mind-blastingly delicious.

Palisade peaches are late coming out this year; in fact, I was worried that we’d miss them altogether. But there they were, seducing me with their smell, and the deal was sealed. Peach and Tomato Salad? We’re on.

Scanning the recipe again in my kitchen, I still didn’t see how this sucker was going to work. Peaches and onion?  Tomatoes and honey? I was slightly encouraged by the feta and basil–two ingredients that I swear make everything taste better, but still…

Well, this pessimist has to admit defeat. This salad rocks. I don’t know how or why, but it does. Now I must say that I think the success of this salad was contingent on truly awesome peaches and tomatoes–don’t try this if either of those items is mediocre. This is a salad that’s only going to bliss you out in dead summer, when the goods are at their peak.

Which is NOW, readers! Get in your car or on your bike or just plain hoof it down to the Farmer’s Market or the produce section and purchase the ingredients for this salad. If you can’t get rock-star peaches, nectarines will work nicely, so feel free to substitute. But really, try it.*

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

from Cooking Light magazine, June 2010

serves 8

1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion

3 ripe peaches, pitted and each cut into 8 wedges (about 1 pound)

1/2 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into wedges (or if you can’t find heirlooms, just get the best tomatoes you can find)

1/2 pound cherry or pear tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup small basil leaves or torn basil

Combine red onion, peaches, beefsteak and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over peach/tomato mixture and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with goat cheese and basil.

*Now just because sweet/savory works for me in a salad does NOT mean that I’m re-visiting fruit/meat combinations–Negatory! Just sayin’.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Futureblackmail August 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

Can I admit something to you? I don’t like Feta.

Now, my husband? Loves it. So I’m sure he would enjoy this salad…if he’s extra nice to me, I just may make it for him, although that will leave me eating cereal.


Gibby August 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

Well, our local farmer’s market is tomorrow morning, so I am going to trust you on this one and pick up some peaches and try this sucker out. I, too, saw this in Cooking Light and passed it right up. I’ll let you know what I think!


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I actually really like a sweet and savoury combination. I’ve been meaning to try a peach and tomato salad too given that I had both ripening side-by-side on my kitchen counter. But I devoured all my tomatoes with salt before I could think twice of what to do with them


Ink August 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm



grace August 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

this is fabulous. i really enjoy sweet and juicy peaches paired with the salty cheese. i guess this is just further proof that i’m odd. :)


Chocolate Freckles August 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Love the name of your blog hahahaha made me laugh!! Great blog, loved it!


Chiara August 27, 2010 at 2:49 am

Oddly, peaches and tomatoes sounds good together. I saw this recipe on Cooking Light and wondered about it… then forgot to make it. Thanks for reminding me!


Megan August 27, 2010 at 8:05 am

I have actually always been a fan of the sweet and savoury combination. I have been playing around with combinations to make some tasty grilled chicken toppings. I love this idea!


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