Summer means Peaches, the loved stone fruit above all others. The gentleness of the white peach and the juiciness of the yellow peach. The joy of eating them as they are! They are suitable not only for sweet temptations but also for salads, salsas, chutneys and drinks.
Ottolenghi recently wrote an article for the New Yorker called Ottolenghi’s Simplest Recipes. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek article about his recipes and the way that people complain about the complexity and number of ingredients. And about the way that they change all the ingredients and then make commentary on them.
I am certainly guilty of the first, and have gotten over the second – mostly. I still sigh if I have to go shopping for a dish when I want to make it right now and there is some ingredient my pantry is not stocking atm. Having cooked a significant number of Ottolenghi’s dishes, I have moved on from strict adherence to his dishes to shaking them up to suit what is cheaper in our part of the world, what is in the pantry or fridge or on the kitchen bench, and what I can pick from the garden.
This recipe had its genesis in Ottolenghi’s first book Ottolenghi. But it is not recognisable as his any more. I’ve removed the non-vegetarian item, and used greens from our garden rather than the expensive (in my area) greens that he uses. I am ticking the recipe off in the book, but really only the dressing (fabulous) and the peaches are recognisable in the original. If you are looking for the original, check his books or his Guardian column.
The key here is to use sweet peaches (yellow-fleshed or a mix of yellow and white) that are at their peak, with none of that floury texture that they can have when unripe. It’s a dish that’s dazzling in its blend of colours and textures, and works well as a starter.
This is a recipe that epitomises the height of Summer in Australia. Beautiful sun ripened stone fruits, grilled on an Aussie BBQ, and drizzled with a sweet scented yoghurt. It really is the best of recipes for this time, perfect perhaps for an Australia Day BBQ.
It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his beautiful Plenty More book. We’ve cooked most of the recipes from this book, and have loved them all. In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses Lemon Geranium Water – a Tunisian ingredient that is more difficult to find locally. Orange Blossom Water is a good substitute (as is any other floral water).
We feel free to make substitutes in Ottolenghi’s recipes. See notes below the recipe about the fruit combination that we used. We are lucky enough to have lavender growing in our garden, but if it is not available to you, please omit it. I’ve also used Tulsi and mint leaves today, as sweet basil was not available. Mint is a really nice substitute.
We have a wild peach tree in the back yard, one that was here in the jungle in the furthest corner of the yard. It is only this year after clearing some of the wildness there that I took notice of it. It produces small, yellow-green fruit with a blush. They are cling-stone, sadly, and a tiny bit less sweet than the commonly available peaches. But it turns out that they are quite suitable for eating and cooking. Our first dish from them is a chutney relish made with barberries and lemon juice to add tartness.
Aromatic sweet laurel bay leaves bring out the warm taste in this sweet and spicy chutney. The pungent, lemony spicy undertones of ginger add another layer flavour.
Muesli is a breakfast and brunch dish of raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, other forms of plant milk, yogurt and/or fruit juice. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
Bircher Muesli was developed around 1900 by Maximilian Bircher-Brenner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, for his patients at his Zurich sanatorium as a way of getting more raw fruit into their diets. It is still a very popular breakfast in Switzerland and Germany, as well as many other parts of the world. The original recipe called for a higher ratio of fresh fruit to grain, and soaked the raw oats overnight since they took some time to soften. Each day the patients began their day with this mushy fruity mixture. Perhaps it was not an inspirational dish at the time, but in the past 12 decades, the dish has been refined and is an attractive start to the day.
Bircher Muesli traditionally contains a lot of apples, by way of juice and grated fruit. Bircher-Benner believed apples cured him of jaundice in his youth, and he strongly advocated the healing powers of diets high in fruit and vegetables. Thus originally it had few oats (about 1 Tblspn per person) and lots of fruit.
I guess Bircher Muesli was the original Overnight Oats! Here in Australia it is a perfect Summer breakfast. Fruit is plentiful in Summer – beautiful, perfect peaches, apricots, peacharines, nectarines, berries, plums, …. all and more freely available. This breakfast dish – the Australian version – celebrates our sunshine and Summer.
You know what? In hot weather I love a lassi, particularly a fruit lassi, for breakfast. Indian in origin, fruit lassi drinks mix yoghurt with fruit, spices and jaggery or sugar.
Today, there were peaches on the kitchen bench, strawberries in the fridge and basil in the garden. A beautiful breakfast was born in the shape of a lassi.
This salad will change your mind about using watermelon in savoury ways
Goodness, how good watermelon is in the Summer. But we rarely use it in a savoury way. Rather, the mind brings images of slurping great arcs of watermelon at the beach, the juice running down your chin and arms.
But watermelon accepts acidic ingredients very well – limes, lemons, salt etc. And therefore making salads with it for those 45C days of Australian Summers is a perfect solution to the heat. Along with a Gin and Tonic, of course.
We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post.
You might also like to try Watermelon and Feta Salad, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Haloumi and Watermelon Salad, or Tomato and Peach Salad. Or try your hand at Strawberry Sorbet.
An exceptional salad of the best of summer fruits – tomatoes and peaches.
Long Summery days continue, although it is noticeably darker in the mornings now. Temps still soar and cool food is always best. This recipe combines the best of summer. Tomatoes and peaches.
Summer and Peaches, there is no better match.
Summer and Peaches, there is no better match. Usually we eat them whole, or sliced and cold from the fridge. They are rarely placed over any heat source in our house, but this recipe is an exception.
Yoghurt and roses. A wonderful marriage.
Yoghurt forms the basis of so many great dishes, savoury and sweet. Dried rose buds which can be purchased at Asian and Middle Eastern groceries, have a natural affinity to yoghurt, sweetening and perfuming it. This recipe brings the two of them together.
We have a wealth of yoghurt recipes, from drinks to curries to salad dressings, desserts, dips, toppings and more. Browse through them here. Dessert recipes are here. Or find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.