My arms were full but they were so cute. Perched on the edge of a table at the farmers market, you couldn’t walk passed without giving at least an endearing glance at the little cartons of donut peaches. They would become dinner.
I love salads with oomph. It’s hard to accomplish without bacon, but it’s possible if you have cheese and grill marks. Both were at my fingertips.
I started with the cheese. The thought of creating it yourself in your own kitchen is extremely exciting. What’s fantastic about homemade ricotta, is that it’s delicious and incredibly simple to make. I’m not joking. I’d never tried it before because I hadn’t taken the 3 minutes to buy cheesecloth (the only specialty item required). That’s actually the hardest step, buying the cheesecloth. So, once that laborious process is over, you can get into comfy clothes, make ricotta and drizzle the leftover (nutritious) whey on your dog’s dinner. (Yes whey.)
As the ricotta sat chilling in the fridge, I looked at the little peaches politely sitting on the table. Over a hot flame, these donut peaches would transform from cute to cunning, freshly white to deep caramel.
Resting on a bed of zippy arugula and crunchy walnuts, the peaches were piled with the fresh, creamy ricotta. A drizzle of sweet, yet savory, honey-thyme vinaigrette flavored the cheese and seeped into the warm peaches.
Put that bacon away.
Grilled Peach and Ricotta Salad with Arugula, Walnuts and Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette
3-4 cups arugula
5 small peaches (such as donut)
3 tablespoons olive oil (for grilling)
1/2 cup crushed raw walnuts
1 cup ricotta cheese (recipe below)
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix honey, thyme, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. While whisking mixture, slowly drizzle in oilve oil until emulsified.
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt