18 Apr Peach, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Pickled Fennel and Macadamias
It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of adding fruit to salad, and I must say that this peach and prosciutto salad is amazing!
Soft, sweet peached balance beautifully with the salty prosciutto, while the creamy goat’s cheese pairs beautifully with the bold flavours of the pickled fennel and the crunch of golden macadamias.
The pickled fennel element of this dish is a bit of a ‘cheats’ recipe… that is, there is no waiting and you can have it ready in a snap! Despite its simplicity, it is gently spiced, and adds another fresh yet delicate element of crunch and tang to a dish that already hosts so many incredible flavours.
Both elegant and bold, this salad is perfect for a summer barbecue or as a starter at your next dinner party. Definitely one for the ages.
Enjoy with gusto,
PEACH, PROSCIUTTO AND GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD WITH PICKLED FENNEL AND MACADAMIAS
For the pickled fennel:
250ml (1 cup) water
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
250ml (1 cup) apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 star anise
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 bay leaf
1 dried chilli
1 head fresh fennel, finely sliced (see note)
For the salad:
6 yellow peaches, stone removed, sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sourdough bread slices
200g goat’s cheese, cubed
200g prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint, loosely packed
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped and toasted
¼ cup za’atar (see note)
A few hours (to a few days) before serving, pickle the fennel. To make the pickling liquor, place the vinegar, salt, water, sugar, spices and chilli in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, leaving to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, pack the fennel into a sterilised jar, until it is about half full. Once the pickling liquor reaches room temperature, pour it over the fennel that is waiting in the jar, ensuring all the fennel is covered. Pack the pickle down if necessary. Set aside until you are ready to prepare and assemble the salad (see note).
To prepare the salad, heat a barbecue or skillet over high heat. Brush the peach wedges with half the oil and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until nicely scorched. Remove the peaches from the heat and set aside.
Next, brush the sourdough slices with the remaining oil on both sides, and place onto the skillet or grill. Cook for 2 minutes each side until charred and lightly toasted. Set aside.
Meanwhile, assemble the salad in individual bowls by layering the sourdough slices with the scorched peach wedges, goat’s cheese, torn slices of prosciutto and generous amounts of the pickled fennel.
Finally, scatter the toasted macadamia nuts throughout and garnish with mint leaves and a sprinkling of za’atar. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper before serving. Enjoy!
If you can, use a mandolin slicer to prepare your fresh fennel. It will allow for uniform, paper thin slices that will absorb all the beautiful flavour from your pickling liquor beautifully.
Za’atar is a delicious, dried mixture of crushed herbs like oregano and thyme, mixed with toasted sesame seeds and usually some added sumac. You can pick up za’atar blends at any good grocery store – any dukkah will work well also. It’s a great pantry staple and also deliious over hummus, eggs and roasted vegies.
Za’atar is a mix of crushed herbs like oregano, thyme and toasted sesame seeds with added sumac or marjoram. This is so delicious over hummus, beans, eggs or vegetables.
You can eat the pickled fennel pretty much immediately, however I think it is best prepared at least the day before. If preparing in advance, ensure it is stored in a tight jar in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, storing in the fridge is wise. How long your pickled fennel will last can vary depending on how it is stored, but it should keep well if refrigerated for a few weeks. Just keep an eye on it, and discard if it becomes cloudy or begins to smell.
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