Hurry! Race to your local market and buy some peaches before they're gone! There isn't much time left! While you're there, pick up some arugula, goat cheese, and thinly sliced prosciutto (trust me). What are you waiting for?? GO! Don't worry, I'll wait.
Back? Good. Now lets talk about these two delicious dishes I made last week with the handful of lovely ingredients I just told you about.
A few weeks ago, I had an amazing salad at a wonderful restaurant in San Diego called Bankers Hill. Now, it's not that I don't like healthy food, I'm usually just not one to go gaga over a salad. But this salad was to die for, featuring innovative flavor combinations and a whole spectrum of textures. There was spicy, crisp arugula, juicy, succulent peaches, creamy, tangy goat cheese, salty, sweet prosciutto, and rich crunchy almonds. Do you see why I was totally blown away? After one bite, I knew I had to try and recreate it.
It was simple really. So simple that I'm not going to even give you a real recipe. Trust me guys, you got this. Just toast up some almonds in a skillet, wash the arugula and pile it on a plate, then scatter over thinly sliced peaches, prosciutto ribbons, and big chunks of goat cheese. Finish off the salad with some chopped toasted almonds and dressing of your choice (I opted for a simple balsamic dressing). Easy, right? And it's totally delicious!
The day after I made this salad I still had all of the ingredients. But as delicious as the salad was, I thought it would be fun to try to use them in a different way. I wanted to figure out a way for that goat cheese to get warm and melty (because, really, isn't that the best way to eat cheese?). I thought of pizza, but I didn't want to make dough. Then I realized I could totally nix the dough and just use bread instead to make open faced sandwiches. Brilliant, right?
I grabbed a couple of slices of Tuscan bread that I'd bought from Trader Joe's earlier that week, laid them on a baking sheet, and lightly drizzled olive oil over each one. Then I laid down those thinly sliced peaches and small pieces of prosciutto. I crumbled goat cheese on top, and slid the bread into a 450 degree oven. About 10 minutes later, the bread was toasty on the bottom, the cheese warm, soft, and very lightly browned at the edges, and the peaches practically melting into the bread. I sliced up the bread and topped each piece with fresh arugula that had been lightly tossed in balsamic. These little flatbreads were to die for. The flavors were even brighter than they'd been in the salad, and the whole meal was so filling and satisfying.
In the end, I loved both meals for different reasons. The flavors are great together so really you can't go wrong. I found the salad to be a bit fresher, while the flatbreads were a little more hearty. Either way, these fleeting summer flavors should be enjoyed while they last.