Monday, September 9, 2013

Kale & Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese & Prosciutto in a Pomegranate Vinaigrette

In typical Ginger Rose fashion, here is another very late recipe posting. I made this salad about a month ago, right as peach season had arrived, after picking up a basket of the most juicy and sweet peaches I could have ever dreamt of from a farmers stand on the way home from a day trip up north. They were the kind of peaches that make you declare that "for the entirety of August, I will eat nothing but Ontario peaches!", a both ludicrous and perfectly understandable statement. So incredibly obsessed with having my all-time favourite fruit in its prime, I found myself adding peaches to just about everything; Peach oatmeal, peach and Nutella paninis, peaches and ice cream, and what may have been my favourite peach usage, my Kale and Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto in a Pomegranate Vinaigrette, the perfect combination of sweet, savory, creamy, and tangy to make my taste buds go wild. 

The big and lip-smackingly sweet flavour from the fresh peaches, enhanced by a quick pop onto the grill, worked perfectly with the slightly bitter kale. The warmth of the grilled peaches softened the goat cheese even more when all tossed together, adding an incredible creaminess to the dish, and making you forget how healthy this dish really is. To tie in the sweet and tangy flavours found in the peaches and goat cheese I made a pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette made from the most incredible pomegranate balsamic vinegar that I coveted from one of my favourite little shops in St. Lawrence Market. The tart and intense flavours from the Chefjono Pomegranate Balsamic took this dish to a whole other level! If you are unable to get your hands on my new favourite addition to my balsamic vinegar collection, you can simply make a vinaigrette out of olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar and toss in a splash of pure pomegranate juice to imitate the effect. Finally, the dish is given substance with a bit of prosciutto, which also helps to balance out the sweetness, adding a salty bite to every forkful. I have already made this salad numerous times, trying to take advantage of every last bit of peach season before it sadly comes to an end. Trust me, make this quick and easy salad before it's too late!

Take this pomegranate vinaigrette to another level by getting your hands on Chefjono's Pomegranate Balsamic! I purchased mine at St. Lawrence Market. No need to add any pomegranate juice to your dressing with this punchy vinegar. 

Serves 2
1 large bunch kale, stemmed with ribs removed
2 peaches, pitted
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 slices prosciutto
5 tbsp olive oil, plus more for massaging kale
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
splash of pomegranate juice
salt & pepper to season

  1. In a small bowl pour in the balsamic vinegar and splash of pomegranate juice. Slowly pour in olive oil in a thin and steady stream while whisking constantly. Season with fresh ground pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly coat peach halves or slices with olive oil. When pan is hot, grill peaches, flat side down for about 2-3 minutes, or until grill marks have appeared. Set aside.
  3. Place kale in a medium bowl and lightly drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle very lightly with salt. Using clean fingertips, roughly massage kale for 2-3 minutes, or until kale becomes tender. 
  4. Begin adding the vinaigrette, a little at a time, while tossing and tasting to ensure you do not overdress. You may not need all of the dressing. 
  5. Plate the dressed kale in salad bowls and crumble over goat cheese. Top with grilled peach halves or slices (one peach per serving) and prosciutto slices (one slice per serving) and serve. 
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