Peach season is a wonderful time of year: sun, sugar and summer barbecues everywhere. This vibrant salad is simple to make and has so many flavours and textures that it’s hard not to love. The bitter walnuts give balance to the caramelised sweetness of the charred peaches, while the cooling courgettes and avocados compliment the sharp basil and red wine dressing flavours.
The dish makes a great and welcome addition to virtually any meal that’s been grilled or roasted and tastes especially refreshing and sweet when the sun is beaming down on a sunny afternoon.
Total Time : 10 Minutes
Serves: 2-3 as a side dish
2 peaches, sliced into wedges
1 courgette, sliced lengthways into large strips with a peeler or sharp knife
1 small avocado, diced into 1.5cm cubes
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
Mixed salad leaves
40g walnut halves, lightly toasted then chopped (plus a few extra to drop in the salad)
40g rocket leaves
25g basil leaves (plus extra leaves to drop in the salad)
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper.
First make the dressing for the leaves by whisking together the red wine vinegar, the garlic clove and the extra virgin oil, set aside until ready to serve.
Make up the pesto in a food processor by blending together the walnuts, rocket and basil with 3 tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of water and the salt and pepper to taste along with a good grind of nutmeg.
Set a griddle pan on the stove to heat. Place the finely sliced courgettes to cook on the hot pan in batches until scorched lines appear, turning once to cook both sides. Set the cooked courgettes aside until ready to serve. Coat the peaches in a glug olive oil and cook using the same method: the charred lines will appear very quickly on the sugary peaches, so be careful they don’t stick to the pan.
Place some basil leaves, salad leaves and some walnut chunks on a serving plate and pour over the red wine vinegar dressing. Add the avocado, the cooked courgettes and peaches and spoon on the walnut pesto with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and black pepper for good measure.