Griddled Peach, Pea and Mozzarella salad
This griddled peach, pea and mozzarella salad is a wonderful celebration of the height of summer. The sweetness of home grown peas is brought out by the sweetness of ripe peach. Charring the slices of peach on a cast iron griddle gives them a slightly more savoury flavour and the milky saltiness of the mozzarella gives the salad a lovely balance.
Feel free to opt for whatever leaves you fancy. You want something that won’t be too overpowering for the other ingredients. Lambs lettuce would be great. A little sorrel or a bit of water cress would also add to the salad.
I was severely tempted by a pea shoot, peach and mozzarella crustini during a spontaneous lunch out last week and spent the whole week thinking about it. As it turned out, the lunch was lovely without that dish, and the delayed the gratification of this peach, pea and mozzarella salad was even better.
Serves two or three
three ripe peaches
400g or fourteen oz fresh peas
250g or eight and three quarter oz mixed salad leaves, thoroughly washed and dried
250g or eight and three quarter oz ball of buffalo mozzarella
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the griddle on a high heat for around five to ten minutes.
Whilst the griddle heats up, cut the peaches into thick slices and set aside. Shell the peas and place in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon, together with a generous pinch of salt. The salt and lemon juice will break down the peas a little, so they won’t need any cooking. If you struggle to find fresh peas, feel free to use frozen peas and boil until just tender.
Once the griddle is nice and hot, place the peach slices on and leave to char. Try to avoid moving the fruit around as this reduces the heat of the griddle and risks breaking up the peach slices. Once the peaches are suitably charred on one side, carefully turn the slices over and leave to blacken on the other side. Set the peaches aside once cooked.
Assemble the griddled peach, pea and mozzarella salad by pouring the peas and their lemon juice over the leaves. Add the peach slices and tear the mozzarella on top. I managed to get hold of some incredible unpasteurized buffalo mozzarella. When you’re making something so simple, it definitely feels right to push the boat out on at least one ingredient, so if nothing else use, use the best quality mozzarella you can find. Pour over a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and season with a generous amount of course sea salt flakes and coarsely ground black pepper. Use your hands to toss the salad together and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in the sunshine