It’s been bloody hot here in the Bay Area the last week or so – the Mercury has been a little beyond the typical September in San Francisco.
The triple digit temps don’t inspire one to crank up the oven but yesterday it stayed cloudy enough to tempt me.
Good friends invited me, Sam and Eli to a casual supper in their backyard yesterday. With peaches in season I was inspired to create a summer salad that would riff off a traditional panzanella.
So the oven went on to prep the bread for this dish. Turns out, it was worth a little more heat.
The very loose recipe is below:
2 heaping cups rustic bread (like pain au levain), cubed in large bite-sized chunks
5 peaches, cubed in large bite-sized chunks
handful fresh basil, chopped medium fine
8-10 sprigs fresh mint, chopped medium fine
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp white vinegar
fresh ground pepper
goat or feta cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
Toast in oven 10-15 min or until golden brown. Let cubes cool to room temp.
Toss peaches, herbs and zest in a big shallow bowl with room to add the bread crumbs. Drizzle olive oil to taste over fruit.
Whisk juice and vinegars in a separate small bowl.
Add bread to fruit and then add citrus and vinegar mixture.
Tumble salad well until nicely combined. Bread should be coated but not soaking.
Right before serving, crumble cheese on top.
If you want some extra contrast and zing, add some dry cured black olives. The color contrast looks great too.