Last week, I started work on the American edition of Neighborhood (note, no ‘u’ in that!). It was an exciting moment to begin working with my US publishers Roost Books ahead of Neighborhood’s Stateside launch – currently planned for June 2017. I’ll bring you more news about this in the months to come. Back in Oz, Neighbourhood is now available for pre-order - get it here.
As we have been away for most of the New York summer this year, we have been a bit late to embrace all the colours, energy and spirit of the season. Summer in the city is often tainted by the extreme humidity but this past week, the kids and I have traipsed all over the city, exploring Battery Park and Wall Street, checking out the impressive new Eataly in the new Westfield building in the World Trade Center and wandered around the eerily beautiful Trinity Church Cemetery which dates back to the late 1600s. We also went bowling in Times Square, scoffed strawberry cheesecake at Junior’s, slurped dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai and took the ‘Ikea Express’ ferry from Wall Street Ferry to Red Hook, where we lunched at the awesome Brooklyn Crab. Boy, we had fun.
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! This year, I have come a long way with my fruit-in-salad aversion with this watermelon salad, and now this one. Today’s recipe is a quick and simple peach salad, perfect for barbecues when minimal cooking is preferred. 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.