I first spied Jamie Oliver on TV, on his “Naked Chef” program, back when I was 19 years old. Yes, his British accent was quite cute… but the cooking! It grabbed me: Artistic yet simple.
I don’t remember cooking that much when I was a teenager (too busy with ballet…), but the introduction of Jamie Oliver into mainstream media and my life at that time was a definite turning point in the kitchen. He made (and still makes) cooking food easily accessible and not scary. I’ve learned how I like to cook – and how I like to eat – from watching Jamie Oliver’s TV shows to accumulating a mass of his cookbooks.
Lisa and I are both big fans of Jamie’s recent campaigning (and cookbooks!) about super foods, but we’ve opened up the vault for this month’s cookbook and headed back to 2008 for Jamie at Home. (Buy it here!)
Because it was another hot summer evening, I selected the grilled peach salad with bresaola and a creamy dressing as my first recipe. What a freaking delicious salad, you guys! Salty, slightly sweet and a tad creamy. This is a home-run. Plus, look at it! Isn’t this a great looking salad?
And because Jamie Oliver isn’t afraid of switching things up, neither was I! I made a few amendments to the recipe:
- The supermarket I visit daily was surprisingly sold out of peaches. So, I picked up plums and apricots instead but ended up solely using the plums.
- Because I didn’t have time to visit an Italian specialty market, I subbed Serrano ham for the bresaola. (I think prosciutto would have been suitable, as well!)
- I used jalapeño white balsamic vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar.
- The dressing was a bit too tart and acidy for my liking. I added 1 teaspoon of honey to the dressing and what a tasty improvement!
I’m so excited to cook through a bunch of Jamie Oliver recipe gems this month. A great summer salad right here. Make this!
Recipe: 5 Knives out of 5 (with dressing modification)
Grilled peach salad with bresaola and a creamy dressing
- 4 just-ripe peaches
- a few fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- some woody herb stalks or branches (such as rosemary or thyme) , optional
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon natural yoghurt or crème fraîche
- 12 slices quality bresaola or Parma ham
- a few sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked
- 2 handfuls rocket, washed and spun dry (i.e. arugula)
- 50 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
- In Italy fruit is often grilled – one of the best things I had when I was there was simply grilled stone fruit sprinkled with vanilla sugar and served with ice cream. So delicious! Peaches, pears, plums, apricots, even figs, are all good for grilling and don’t just have to be eaten as a dessert. Here I’m serving grilled peaches with bresaola, which is very thinly sliced, cured, dried beef that you can get in Italian delis or good supermarkets. It’s salty, savoury and goes with the peaches like a dream. This is my favourite little salad at the moment – dead nice!
- Preheat a barbecue or griddle pan until hot. Cut the peaches in half, then twist them to remove the stones – don’t worry if they break up when you do this. Toss them in a bowl with the chopped rosemary, a splash of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. If you’re cooking on a barbecue, throw some herb branches on to the coals if you like – this will give the peaches a herby, smoky flavour. Grill the peaches for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely charred, but not burnt!
Pour the vinegar into a bowl or a Flavour Shaker and add three times as much extra virgin olive oil. Add the yoghurt or crème fraîche and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk or shake until mixed together well.
- Drape the bresaola over four plates, pinching it up here and there so it’s not lying flat. Place the peaches over the bresaola. Toss the tarragon leaves and rocket in the creamy dressing and pile the salad on top of the peaches. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil, scatter with the crumbled goat’s cheese and tuck in!