I was honored when one of the editors of Fine Cooking contacted me a few months ago and asked if I would contribute to What We're Cooking Now, for the July/August issue.
Fine Cooking requested a simple seasonal specialty featuring fresh peaches, blueberries or summer squash. Grilled peaches instantly came to mind, and I recalled a fruit salad with grilled peaches, mascarpone-honey dressing, and toasted almonds. Grilling the peaches until they are caramelized brings out the natural sugar, and peaches pair so beautifully with almonds, blueberries, blackberries, mascarpone, and lemon. Unfortunately, due to keeping my contribution around 25 words, I was unable to share the complete recipe.
For your next picnic, barbecue, or pool party, forget that plastic platter, with unripe and/or overripe fruit, assembled and packaged by your local grocery store, and take a few extra minutes to prepare this simple, bright and impressive fruit salad.
Grilled Peach, Watermelon and Blackberry Salad with Mascarpone Honey Dressing, Toasted Almonds and Mint
Adapted from Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill: With More Than 125 Bold New Recipes
For the Dressing:
1 cup mascarpone cheese (or vanilla yogurt, drained)
2 tablespoons honey, plus 2 tablespoons for drizzling
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine mascarpone, 2 tablespoons honey and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
For the Salad:
4 peaches, halved and pitted (yellow peaches make the salad more colorful)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 wedges seedless Watermelon
1 pint blackberries or blueberries
1/2 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup Mint, chiffonade, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Zest of one lemon
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill (or heat a grill pan on your stove). Brush the peach halves on both sides with oil and grill cut-side down until golden brown and caramelized, 3-4 minutes. Turn over and grill 1-2 minutes more. Arrange all the fruit on a large platter, or in a large bowl. Spoon small portions of mascarpone honey dressing evenly around the fruit. Drizzle top of fruit with honey, and sprinkle with toasted almonds and mint chiffonade. Garnish with lemon zest and a few mint sprigs.