Kale and Peach Caprese Salad

Kale and Peach Caprese Salad | Breaking Bland EatsThey say moderation is the key to healthy eating.  Well, I seem to lack moderation when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer months.  To say that I bought too much fruit on our road trip this past weekend would be an understatement.  But how could I pass up 20 pounds of BC peaches for $12, or fresh sunrise apples, tree ripened prune plums, or field tomatoes? Plus, with all the local garden produce available right now I’ve been up to my ears (literally) with fresh fruit and produce lately.  But that’s a problem I don’t mind having, but I may have to invest in a second fridge…

One of my all time favourite salads is an Italian Caprese salad.  Sometimes the simplest of foods can be the most delicious.  I’ve taken the classic combination of fresh sliced tomatoes, basil, and bocconcini cheese (a type of small fresh mozzarella), and added juicy peaches and kale.  Don’t worry, this isn’t any old kale salad; take a look at these beautiful heirloom tomatoes and peaches. Breaking Bland Eats

 

Breaking Bland Eats The kale is simply dressed in some lemon juice and oil, which when massaged into the kale helps to tenderize the otherwise tough leaves. This salad makes a perfect side dish alongside grilled meat or it’s hearty enough to eat on its own for lunch or dinner. I’ve got the rest of those 20lbs of peaches to deal with and I’m thinking that my favourite peach pie would make a perfect dessert for this weekend.

Kale and Peach Caprese Salad

Serves 4-6

1 large bunch of kale, thick stems removed and chopped into bite sized pieces (~6 cups)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large ripe peach, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup chopped basil, ~10 large leaves
150g (5 oz) bocconcini cheese, sliced or cubed depending on the size
drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction)
salt and pepper

Directions: 

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine chopped kale with lemon juice, oil, and a small amount of salt and pepper.  Massage by hand until all the leaves are coated.  Don’t worry about being gentle, the kale can handle it.
  2. Set the kale aside and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Before serving, top the kale with the peaches, tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, basil, and drizzle with  balsamic vinegar.

Kale and Peach Caprese Salad | Breaking Bland Eats

Peach Crumble Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Peach Pie

With autumn just around the corner many people are mourning the end of summer. On the other hand, even though I love summer, I look forward to autumn each year; not only can I start wearing boots and scarves again but also my apartment finally cools down enough for me to use my oven! For those of you who are dreading the transition here is one of my favourite summer desserts to ease the pain.

This is not your ordinary peach pie. It has all the traditional components, but the addition of an oat crumble and salted caramel really elevates this dessert and makes it something truly special. For even more of an indulgence you could always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I mean what’s pie without ice cream?

This caramel recipe is by far the easiest version I have come across in my recipe travels. It doesn’t require a thermometer and you can use milk or cream with equal success. It’s delicious on freshly baked pies, ice cream or licked directly off the spoon. It’s also highly addictive so you’ve been warned…

peach pie

Peach Crumble Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

Single Crust Pastry Dough:
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chilled butter
3-5 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Filling:
6-8 large peaches, enough to make 8 cups of sliced peaches
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Crumble:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup old fashion rolled oats

Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup heavy cream or milk
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Make the Dough:
1. Mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter either by hand or with a food processor.
2. Slowly add 3 tablespoons of water and stir until just combined; do not overwork the dough or you will end up with tough pastry. Once you’ve added the water squeeze a small amount of the dough to test whether it holds together in a ball. If not then add more water one tablespoon at a time.
3. Form pastry into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Make the Filling:
1. Slice pieces into ½ inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. Add flour, brown sugar , cinnamon. Stir until combined then set aside.

Make Crumble:
1. Cream together room temperature butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
2. Stir in flour and oats. Set aside.

Assemble the pie:
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Place in a 9-inch deep pie plate leaving dough hanging over the rim. Crimp the edges.
3. Add peach filling then top evenly with crumb topping.
4. Bake for 60-75 minutes, allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Make the Caramel Sauce
1. While the pie cooks, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened to desired consistency.

If you are lucky to have leftover pie store it at room temperature for up to two days. Extra caramel sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to one week. Enjoy!