Just a peachy salad

  • Recipe(s): Warm grilled peach and frisee salad with goat’s cheese dressing (page 51)
  • Prep: Easy
  • Taste: Good

Peaches in August…yes please!

On August 22, 2014 we made the warm peach and frisee salad with goat’s cheese dressing. Peaches are one of our favourite fruits. I love; peach pies, peach jam, plain peaches, peach juice…you get the picture. We’re also fans of goat’s cheese, so you can probably guess the expectations that we had for this dish…

The expectations were still high once I’d prepped and sampled the goat’s cheese dressing. It is a fairly simple dressing to prep, with minimal ingredients and limited chopping requirements. It’s also a very tasty dressing. The Parmesan adds a nice salty sharpness, which helps to cut the two oils (olive and walnut), while the lemon strips away some of the goat’s cheese creaminess. So I was really looking forward to adding this to the warm peach and frisee in the next step.

Unfortunately, this is where the expectations were brought back down to earth. When I cut into the peach I was disappointed to see a blackness around the pit. Fortunately the entire piece of fruit wasn’t bad so we could still make the salad according to the recipe but it definitely effected the final dish.

Even with the imperfect peach we ranked this dish as good, knowing that it could be very good with the ideal piece of fruit. We really enjoyed the combination of mint and peach, which gave me a good idea for a fusion mojito next summer! Grilling the peach brought out some of the sweetness, which combined well with the tartness of the frisee. All in all this is a very nicely balanced salad and, like I said before, one that we would make again.

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Middle Eastern Duck Salad

  • Recipe(s): Middle Eastern Duck Salad (page )
  • Prep: Moderate
  • Taste: Very Good

Another Sunday night, another great dinner, care of Jamie Oliver. A few weeks ago (November 30, 2014) we completed the final warm salad of our challenge and were treated to yet another recipe that included duck.

The prep for this recipe is moderate. There’s a lot to do, in terms of chopping, etc. in addition to this there’s a large time commitment required because you have to roast the duck first, which takes a few hours. Thankfully, the Grey Cup was on this day so I was able to enjoy the game while the duck cooked. Another reason the prep took a bit of time was because we were unable to locate pre-shelled pistachios anywhere around our place. We had to buy a bag of roasted pistachios and then shell them. What a pain that was!

Note to those who are going to deseed a pomegranate. DO NOT wear white. I choose the method of cutting the pomegranate in half and banging the outside with a wooden spoon so all of the seeds fall out. While I did not get much on myself the recipe book took a beating. It looked like it had been through it and back….woops.

The final product was solidly good. It was very different from any salad I had ever made or, for that matter, ever had in my life. It contained a range of ingredients that worked very well with each other and that I would never have thought to put together. There were sweet notes, sour notes, salty notes and rich notes, primarily from the duck. Out of all the duck recipes that we made this year I probably cooked the duck the best on this occasion. We recently were given a new roaster, which probably helped.

We would probably not make this again as there is a large time commitment required and well, duck is expensive. I did like the flavour though, so may try the same type of recipe with a roasted chicken.