Bitter, sweet, peppery, nutty, crunchy, and silken — this salad seems to have it all. White peaches are the catalyst for all these flavors to work together.
1 head escarole, around 4 cups, tender inner leaves, washed and dried
2-3 cups arugula, smaller leaves preferred, washed and dried
3-5 white peaches (freestone if you can get them), ripe and sweet, but not too soft
1/2 heaping cup almonds, roasted, cut into large pieces
Crunchy salt such as Le Saunier de Camargue or Maldon, and pepper to taste
1 cup White Peach Sherry Vinaigrette, or as needed
Wash the peaches well and gently rub dry to remove the fuzz, or dip each peach in boiling water for a few seconds, and then into cold water, then slip the skins off. Cut the peaches into roughly 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the softest pieces for the dressing. Transfer to a bowl and keep cold until needed.
Tear the tender escarole leaves into big bite-sized bits. Transfer the escarole to a large non-reactive bowl. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat well and toss. Add half the arugula and gently toss to combine. Add the rest of the arugula and fold in. Mix all the greens and taste some to see if there is enough dressing. The dressing should be present enough to harmonize with the greens-it should not dominate, but you should be able to taste it. Add more dressing if needed.
Distribute the greens among four chilled plates.
Add the peach dice to the bowl, and add a little bit if dressing. Gently toss to coat the peaches with the dressing. Add half the almonds and toss. Distribute the peach almond mixture evenly on the salads.
Season with salt and pepper, then scatter the rest of the almonds over the salads. Serve cold.
- Top the salads with mixed or arugula microgreens.
- Use bits of Gorgonzola Dolce scattered into the salad, or smear cheese onto a toast and place on the side or center of the salad.
- Regular peaches will work, but they need to be quite sweet and ripe.
- White nectarines can be used, but cut them into 1/4 inch dice rather than 1/2 inch.
YIELD: Serves 4