Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tomatoes and Peaches – a taste of summer


I enjoy dishes such as this that introduce a new flavor combination along with garden freshness. It’s interesting to see how a single ingredient that tastes amazing all on its own can be put together with another equally amazing ingredient to create a totally different flavor. The wonderful sweetness of ripe peaches and the rich, tangy flavors of local tomatoes are out-of-this-world fabulous together.

I have two elegant and easy recipes today that taste every bit as good as they look. Not only are they eye-catching, they are full of flavors we all associate with summer. Both of these salads are the star of the show and a very nice change from your normal salads. Think of each bite as “a mouthful of summer.”

The idea of tomatoes and peaches together is interesting. Back in 2011 when I wrote a post, link here, for homegrown tomatoes stuffed with local peaches, photo below, some questioned the combination. I admit that it was a bit unusual. Fast forward to 2014 and google “tomato and peach salads” and you’ll find a plethora of them. After all, tomatoes are considered a fruit.



The first recipe is a stacked tomato salad. I’ve used heirloom tomatoes, this time Cherokee Purples, and inserted slices of black pepper-coated goat cheese, stacked upright and topped with peaches, crunchy cucumber, grilled local corn, chopped red onion, fresh basil, and drizzled the tomato stacks with savory vinaigrette.




Stacked Tomatoes
Idea for stacked tomatoes inspired by Cooking Light – serves 4
Printable Recipe

4 medium sized tomatoes (preferably heirlooms, I used a Cherokee Purple)
Kosher salt
4 ounces goat cheese (I used one coated with black pepper)
1 cup chopped European seedless cucumber, or garden cucumber, seeds removed
1 cup fresh corn kernels, grilled or blanched
½ cup chopped red onion
2 fresh peaches, peeled, pit discarded, cut into cubes
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Several dashes of hot sauce such as Tabasco, optional

Wash the tomatoes, then slice them into ½ inch slices and sprinkle with salt. Stack each tomato with slices of goat cheese between the layers and place on individual plates. You can use a couple of toothpicks to keep them upright.

Combine the cucumber, corn, and red onion in a bowl and gently toss with a rubber spatula. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.

Just before serving, prepare the peaches and fresh basil and add them to the vegetable mixture. Toss very gently with a rubber spatula, then add the vinaigrette and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again, gently. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Top each tomato stack with the vegetables and serve at once. Be sure to remove toothpicks, or ask your guests to do so, before eating.



The second recipe is basically the same ingredients minus the goat cheese, but put together differently. This time, instead of slicing the tomatoes and stacking them, I hollowed them out and stuffed them with the peaches, cucumber, corn, red onion, and basil mixture.

Think of this as two recipes for the price of one.

Summer Stuffed Tomatoes
My Carolina Kitchen – Sam Hoffer – serves 4
Printable Recipe

4 medium sized tomatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup chopped European seedless cucumber, or garden cucumber, seeds removed
1 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched or grilled
½ cup chopped red onion
2 fresh peaches, peeled, pit discarded, cut into cubes
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or line
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Several dashes of hot sauce such as Tabasco, optional

Wash the tomatoes, then cut the tops off and carefully scoop out the flesh and seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and turn them upside down on a paper towel so the excess water will drain out.

Combine the cucumber, corn, and red onion in a bowl and gently toss with a rubber spatula. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.

Just before serving, prepare the peaches and fresh basil and add them to the vegetable mixture. Toss very gently with a rubber spatula, then add the vinaigrette and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again, gently. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Stuff vegetables into the prepared tomatoes and serve at once.



I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the tomato peach combination and begin to understand why they say, “What grows together, goes together.”


This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes.    
Have a great weekend everyone.

34 comments:

  1. Two of my summer favorites combined sounds like it will work for me! Both salads look like works of art on a plate.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. What absolutely beautiful creations! The stacked tomatoes are just gorgeous, and you don't have to sell me on the combo of peaches and tomatoes - I remember making one of your peach and tomato recipes a few years back that was extraordinary!

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  3. They really are both beautiful dishes..
    Signature dishes for you:)
    Have a lovely day Sam..

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  4. Both of the presentations look outstanding Sam as does the photography. This may be the most unusual of the fruit and veggie creations I've seen you do and I would have never came up with this combo. Actually, if I had put corn, cukes, tomatoes, and peaches on my plate, I would be very careful to keep the peaches apart from the others, but I'm sure it was delicious, as always.

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    1. Thanks Larry. I always add the peaches and basil at the last moment to maintain their freshness.
      Sam

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  5. I must admit that I too was a bit surprised when I saw the title of your post...but when I looked at the photos, Wow! yes, I can see it, and even taste it. Like you I am an adventuress when it comes to trying new things. That's why I like Ottolenghi's recipes...talk about combinations!

    "what grows together goes together" is one of my most used phrases when people ask me about wines. Olive oil and spices fit the bill also although I venture out sometimes into the wild blue yonder. Great post, Sammy......

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  6. Sam, It does sound a bit different to me...but both recipes are attractive and if I left off the onions, I would give it a try. Interesting combo! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  7. Fantastic ideas! Both dishes look delicious, but I particularly like the stacked tomatoes.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. I never tried a peach/tomato combination before as a salad, but it does look very appealing, Sam! Both presentations look beautiful!

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  9. You have come up with two winners Sam. Peaches and tomatoes make a great combination; even their textures are similar. Summer on a plate.

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  10. What beautiful salads! Besides the beauty, the flavor combinations sound wonderful. I have the peaches...now off to the garden to see what tomatoes are ripe.

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  11. Peaches and tomatoes...two my absolute favourites. They look beautiful and inviting!

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  12. Sam: This should win a blue-ribbon prize! Stunning.

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  13. Looks beautiful and delicious, Sam. I have made a salsa with similar ingredients to serve with grilled meats. I love the look of both of these as gorgeous salads.

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  14. This is what I LOVE about summer cooking - such lovely refreshing flavors - I love the use of fruit with savory!
    Mary

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  15. Una combinación bien exótica, pero que a buen seguro debe estar DELICIOSA!!!
    Gracias amig@s :))))
    Conxita

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  16. What gorgeous presentations! Wow! I would have never thought to pair peaches with tomatoes, but it sure looks good and the heirloom tomato stack is simply mouthwatering!
    Jenna

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  17. My friend emailed me a recipe for a peach and tomato salsa. She said it is to-die-for. I thought the combination did not sound like it went together, but now you are saying it is good so I am going to give it a try. Your salad certainly is gorgeous. I love heirloom tomato.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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  18. Hi Sam, what a unique combination, bet this is wonderful, what a gorgeous salad. Pinned!

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  19. Yes please-Sign me up for a big ole platter of this Sam! I've made a peach and tomato salsa before so I know they taste great together! Love that grows together-goes together saying:@)

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  20. Absolutely beautiful!!!! I can't wait till my peaches are ripe to try this! YUMMY!

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  21. I'm trying to wrap my taste buds around the combination of peaches and tomatoes. I love both and all the other ingredients but I just can't imagine the peaches and tomatoes together. I'll make the recipe without peaches and then add some peaches to a small amount of the dish. Have to try everything and I might end up adding the rest of the peaches to the dish.

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  22. Wow. What an amazing idea.

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  23. That stacked tomato salad looks mouth wateringly delicious. I love the combination of peaches and tomatoes, and the inclusion of goat cheese is a great touch. Beautiful presentation too.

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  24. These are just beautiful and I like how you stacked them with the goat cheese spread between layers. Visually delightful, Sam.

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  25. What a beautiful combination of flavors, Sam! I love how you mix things up in your salads and salsas and the result is always so fresh and delicious. Beautiful and elegant is so true!

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  26. I agree with your statement about two complete different foods and flavors and the combination of a surprisingly pleasant flavor. These ideas look fantastic Sam. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. What fun your stacked tomatoes are! Not only flavorful, but a fun presentation. Two fabulous recipes, Sam!

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  28. I've not had this combination before and both of your salads not only sound good but are so pretty. I was at the store this morning and the peaches were terrible…beautiful color but hard as a rock and no peach smell. Hopefully I'll find some in the next couple of weeks to try your recipes.

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  29. I've just discovered the wonders of peaches and tomatoes, beautiful. Pinned.

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  30. Hi Sam,
    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you soon!
    Pinning your post!
    Miz Helen

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  31. Sam, after my adding peaches to my shrimp and quinoa salad I'm hooked on peaches in savory salads! I also think peaches are marvelous with goat cheese! This is a wonderful salad and you've inspired me to try something similar before peach season ends!

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  32. I can just taste the wonderful flavour of the sun dappled tomatoes, room temperature goat cheese and freshness of the corn.

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  33. Wow, Sam, these look fabulous. I love when fresh local grown peaches and tomatoes come in season, and this is a wonderful way to combine them.

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