Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese, Pickled Onions, Toasted Pistachio, and Lemon Vinaigrette
Wine Pairing: 2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc Reserve, To Kalon Vineyard, OakvilleWatch the demonstration of this recipe
1 ½ # fresh ripe peaches
2 T grapeseed oil
8 oz baby lettuce
6 oz fresh goat cheese, such as Laura Chenel
2 oz pistachio nuts, shelled
Edible flowers for garnish, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste
2 red onions, sliced into 1/8" slices
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ T salt
4 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
1 T black peppercorns
2 pieces star anise
2 pieces cloves
zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil
1 shallot, minced
1 t honey
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients, except the onions, in a pot and bring to a simmer. Strain and pour liquid over onions. Let onions sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate. The onions will keep in the refrigerator in the brine for 1 month. They are great in other salads or on sandwiches.
Combine the minced shallot, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes to macerate the shallots. Whisk in the oil, add the honey and salt and taste. Adjust by adding more lemon juice or salt, or if too tart add a little more oil and taste again.
Heat your grill and cut the peaches in half. Brush the cut side of the peaches with a little oil. You want the grates of the grill very hot to mark the peaches and so they will not stick but you do not want flames licking the grates. When the grill is ready add the peaches cut side down. Cook for 1 minute and turn 45 degrees and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the grill and let cool down. Once cool slice into wedges.
Toss the pistachio nuts in a little oil and season with salt. Roast on a baking tray in a 350-degree oven for approx. 6 minutes, until toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool rough chop the pistachios.
Crumble the goat cheese.
When ready to plate the salad, pull some of the pickled onions from their brine and drain. Toss together the lettuce, pickled onion, and half the goat cheese. Add some vinaigrette and a pinch of salt, taste and adjust. In a separate bowl lightly dress the peaches with some of the vinaigrette and a small pinch of salt. Put the lettuce mix in the middle of a large platter or 4 plates if serving individually. Place the peaches around the outside of the salad. Garnish with the remaining goat cheese, pistachios, and edible flowers if using. Serve immediately. Bon Appetit!
Chef's Wine Notes
The 2016 Reserve Fumé Blanc is a great expression of the sauvignon blanc grapes grown here in the To Kalon Vineyard. The wine is bright, expressive, and evocative of stone fruit – it immediately makes me think of peaches. This wine does spend some time in barrel, and the light char on the peaches helps showcase this characteristic. The acid in the wine keeps it refreshing and balances the fruit flavors. The goat cheese and lemon in the salad perform the same function for the food, balancing the sweet peaches and roasted pistachios. This lovely summer salad is a fantastic complement to this beautiful wine.
Emmy Award winning radio & TV personality Liam Mayclem is best known as the host of EYE ON THE BAY on CBS 5 and as “The Foodie Chap” celebrating San Francisco Bay Area culinary stars daily on #1 KCBS Radio.
In keeping with a 50-year tradition, Robert Mondavi Winery will donate $10,000 to Napa Valley Unified School District's music programs.