We’ve well and truly been basking in the warm breezes and sunlit evenings synonymous with Melbourne in summer. Uninterrupted sunshine coupled with time off over Christmas really makes this time of year the best of all. We’ll be using this downtime to pour through the books we picked up and never finished, float in the glossy waves of the ocean, and eating all of the mangoes and cherries we can get our hands on.
We often note how it takes a few days into a holiday to actually wind down once we’ve washed the worries of work away and stepped out of our modus operandi. Do you feel the same way?
To segue into this summer headspace and help you out of work mode, we’re sharing a series of summer musings - titbits to inspire or entertain on those delightfully lazy afternoons.
We thought it was appropriate to start our summer musings with something wholesome before we decline into a perpetual state of gingerbread-induced food coma. Where better to look than Neighbourhood and Community, some of our favourite cookbooks, each filled with beautiful plant-based salad recipes inspired by Australia and abroad by author, Hetty McKinnon.
Hetty, who has just published her third cookbook Family, kindly allowed us to repost this recipe that makes the most of the juicy stone fruit in currently season. Enjoy!
‘With the Summer winding down, the produce seems to be at its peak at the greenmarkets. The tomatoes are insane, bursting with flavour. We are consuming corn obsessively and peaches are still plentiful and flavourful!
...teamed with creamy mozzarella, basil and finished with a drizzle of honey, this salad is best well seasoned with sea salt and a good grind of black pepper. I like the tartness of yellow peaches, but you could also use white flesh versions. Another great substitute would be melon – rockmelon (cantaloupe) and honeydew are both lovely with mozz and basil.’
Grilled peach salad with mozzarella, basil and honey
This is a perfect light Summer dish, when peaches are at their most abundant. Choose peaches that are on the firm side as they will soften up and sweeten with cooking.
Serves 2-4, as a light dish
4-5 medium yellow peach
400g mozzarella cheese
10-15 basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp honey
sea salt and black pepper
Cut each peach in half, remove the seed, and then slice each half into 4 thick slices. Place the peach segments in a large bowl and drizzle over some olive oil.
Heat a barbecue or griddle pan on high heat. Once searing hot, grill the peach slices just a minute or so on each cut side until there are char marks and flesh is starting to soften – don’t cook for too long, as you don’t want mushy peaches. You still want the flesh to retain some firmness.
Arrange the peach slices on a large platter. Tear up the mozzarella and toss in with the peaches. Tear up the basil leaves, and scatter over the peaches and mozzarella. To serve, drizzle generously with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper and trickle over the honey.