The inspiration for this salad came from what I find to be the best inspiration – having a bunch of stuff in the fridge that needed to go and finding a way to use it all up. I had two white peaches that were on the verge of being over-ripe, a little bit of homemade pesto and the smallest little bit of Caromont Farm’s Feta (our new favorite cheese). I wanted a salad for dinner and thought about Jennifer Jo’s bruschetta, but all the tomatoes I had on hand could stand another day or two of sitting to further ripen (the result of picking them before the squirrels got them), so I poured myself a glass of wine and just started playing around in the kitchen.
I peeled and chopped the peaches, tossing them with a bit of lime juice to keep them from browning and a sprinkle of sugar to balance the lime juice. (Note: You could use lemon juice instead or fresh lemon/lime juice, but the bottle of lime juice was the closest, so I grabbed it.) I only meant to taste the peach with the pesto as part of my experimenting, but I accidentally dropped the pesto into the bowl of peaches, so after tasting it, I just went ahead and stirred a spoonful of pesto until it looked like this:
I let that sit on the counter as I made the rest of dinner (corn fritters) and prepped the rest of the salad. I chopped the feta into tiny little bits and chiffonaded the lettuce I had on hand – it was a local red leaf lettuce I picked up at Integral Yoga as all of my garden greens are looking scraggy – and then tossed it all together.
The peaches sitting in lime juice and sugar created just enough juice to make a bit of a dressing, the saltiness of the goat feta balanced the bite of the garlic in the basil pesto perfectly while complimenting the delicate flavor and sweetness of the white peaches. It was one of those smack-your-mama good dishes I manage to whip up on the fly that I need to remember so that I add it into rotation because this time of year, we seem to always have basil pesto, peaches and Caromont Farm feta on hand. Edie suggested this would also be good with mint in place of the basil pesto or even holy basil (our new favorite herb). A regular feta or goat cheese could easily be substituted and I suspect greens such as kale, arugula, mesclun mix or butter lettuce would be equally nice.