June 01, 2011

By: Jennifer Vagios MS RD

 
 
Juicy and sweet all on their own the succulent peaches are abundant and waiting to be made into a crisp with a dollop of ice cream on top, mingled into a peach sangria (oh, that sounds good about now) or perhaps tossed into a fruit salad. But why not enhance their flavor even more by roasting them? Since I don’t have immediate access to a grill (other then that George Foreman in the closet) I thought I’d experiment a bit, after all, the kitchen is meant to be a playground.

So today get out your cookie sheets (yes, you can use them for things other then cookies).

Aside from the peaches, cherry tomatoes make an appearance in this salad. While I’ve roasted cherry tomatoes over and over again I had never merged the two together, but oh my what a perfect combination. Also, why not add some garlic, cause honestly, everything is better with a little garlic now isn’t it?

When making salads I simply try to add loads of things that allow you to make it into an entree or a side. Think color, variety, textures and health. Today you can expect sweetness from the tomatoes and peaches, a creaminess from avocados, (not to mention a healthy fat) alongside the crunchiness and slight saltiness from cashews and feta.

RECIPE

By:Jennifer Vagios MS RD

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Peach Salad


Serves: Can serve 4 (depends on your portions)

Time: 25 minutes for roasting, 5 minutes for dressing
Equipment:

  • Baking sheet
  • Mini food processor

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved if you like)
  • 3-4 peaches, pitted and halved, and chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 bag-Salad Greens (handful or 1 cup for each person)
  • ¼ cup cashews (or other nut, like pistachios)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic (keep skin on)
  • 1 lime, freshly juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Methods:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Place peaches, tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 25 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven.
  3. Place garlic cloves aside.


For the Dressing:
Take roasted garlic and place in a mini food processor.  Add garlic, lime and cilantro. Process until cilantro is finely chopped. Place mixed ingredients in a small bowl. Add honey, mustard and rice vinegar, whisk til combined. Note: this is a very liquidy dressing.

Place a handful (a cup or so) of salad greens in individual plates.
Top with diced avocado, then the tomato/peach combination.
Finish the salad with a sprinkling of pistachios and crumbled feta cheese.

Cooks Tips:

  • You don’t even have to assemble this salad other then just having the roasted tomatoes and peaches as a side.
  • Try different greens, if I had arugula, that would’ve been my base for the salad, nothing like a little peppery kick from that leafy green.

ENJOY!

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