Give your guests an unexpected surprise by serving summer fruit in a savory preparation. This salad pairs the subtle sweetness of stone fruit with earthy greens, toasted nuts and tangy goat cheese for a beautifully balanced starter.
- 4 tablespoons chopped cherries
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 3½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 bulb fennel (with tops)
- 4 ripe peaches, pit removed and sliced into 6 pieces
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 5 thin slices English cucumber
- 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 small bunch watercress
- 2 heads little gem lettuce
For the cherry vinaigrette:
In bowl add chopped cherries and champagne vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The consistency should be slightly broken but still have texture.
For the salad:
1. Remove tops of fennel (fennel fronds) and reserve. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and place into chilled water. Remove from water, and dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle peaches with oil and grill, just to mark, do not cook. Then set aside to cool.
3. Place sliced cucumber on the bottom of plate and top with grilled peaches. Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts, crumbled cheese and cherry vinaigrette over the peaches.
4. Mix fennel, fennel fronds and watercress with 1 teaspoon olive oil and place on top of the peaches.