This salad is a peachy southern twist to an Italian caprese salad that substitutes ripe, sweet Georgia peaches for the traditional tomatoes found in caprese salads. The local peaches this year have been exceptionally sweet and delicious. This time of the year most of our peaches come from Georgia and South Carolina.
Picking out peaches can be tricky though. Normally when you see them they haven’t quite ripped yet and can be hard. Don’t worry, just bring them home and store them on the counter for a few days and they will ripen before you know it. I say “before you know it” because peaches can get away from you. One day they are still hard and the next day they will be perfect. If you don’t catch them at just their peak of ripeness, they shrivel and should be thrown away. Of course you know this, but always avoid buying any kind of fruit that is bruised.
I also pick up a peach and smell it before I buy it. When you take a whiff, if you don’t detect a faint peach smell, keep looking until you find one that actually smells like a peach.
The vinaigrette for this salad contains honey to bring out the sweetness of the peaches. A little tip about measuring honey – if you use the oil first in your spoon, followed by the honey, the honey won’t stick to your spoon.
The combination of the mint and basil in this salad just brings all of the flavors together beautifully. We served it with my father’s southern “unfried” chicken for lunch and it was a big success. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Georgia Caprese Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Adapted slightly from Southern My Way by Gena Knox – serves 4
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces tiny water-packed mozzarella cheese balls
4 ripe peaches (southern if you can find them), unpeeled, each cut into eight wedges
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
Prepare the vinaigrette by combing the ingredients in a glass jar with a screw top lid. Shake well to combine and set aside. Cut cheese into 1-inch pieces (or leave whole if they are small balls) and gently toss with the peaches. Add the vinaigrette and toss again gently. Add a little freshly ground black pepper and the basil and mint pieces. Serve right away.
These are two other peach recipes that I’ve made in the past that I think you’ll enjoy during peach season.
Stuffed tomatoes recipe - this stuffing is fabulous with the crunch of the cucumber and red onion mixed with the corn, peaches and basil. I almost ate it before I stuffed the tomatoes.
The silkiness of the peaches and prosciutto goes well with the salty prosciutto in this green salad in this recipe.
For those of you celebrating the 4th of July next week, I hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.
This guy was in our driveway the other morning enjoying a few tender shoots for breakfast. As you can see, he wasn’t the least bit afraid of us. Trouble is, sometimes his breakfast of tender shoots includes the leaves of our azalea bushes!