(no picture of the salsa…. I know, I know…)
Tomatoes however are really wonderful this year. And so are peaches (albeit I don’t grow peaches, several orchards in Rappahannock County have been keeping me happy: I have bought 2 ½ bushels to date).
So as I am cooking for others (well, for me too, of course!), I try to emphasize the bounty and freshness of our wonderful local produce. For example, on Saturday, we cooked for a lovely little party (21 people + 6 kids) where the hostess was very happy that we incorporated many fresh local vegetables and fruit in the menu. She wanted something simple but elegant to celebrate the wedding of one of her children: since the family loves peaches and peaches are so good this year, I made several dishes incorporating peaches: a fresh peach ice-cream with peach sauce, a lovely peach and blackberry salad macerated with lemon-verbena syrup. And then I made a side dish that had both peach and tomato (the other garden winner for me): a peach salsa served with Lamb Kebabs that had been marinated with olive oil and spices and herbs of the Mediterranean basin (cumin, coriander, thyme etc).
The salsa was pretty to look at and a nice complement to the lamb kebabs: they have strong distinct flavors but they work together. While I like my salsa pleasantly hot, I don’t want it to be fiery hot, so I use a smallish green jalapeno and I seed it. I use yellow peaches as they are slightly more acid that the white peaches, which I think are too sweet for this salsa.
- 1 pound of ripe but firm yellow peaches
- 4 red onion scallions
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (red & yellow)
- 1 half green bell pepper
- 6 sprigs parsley
- 1 green jalapeno pepper
- ¼ teaspoon each of coriander powder & cumin powder
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
Halve and stone peaches. Grill until you have grille marks but the fruit is still firm. Peel and dice over a bowl to catch the juices.
Finely slice the scallions. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Finely dice the bell pepper. Mince the parsley. Add all 4 ingredients to the peaches.
Stem the jalapeno, cut lengthwise in thin strip, discard seeds. Mince the strips. Add to the salsa.
Add spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and salt as desired.
Let sit 1 hour for the flavors to meld together before serving.