My husband, Jason, will tell you that I can’t remember what I was just talking about, but I can tell you exactly what I had for dinner on the third Tuesday of June in 1996. I’m not quite that good, but I do have a memory for meals.
Many of those memories come from summer. Long, late, lazy meals with family and friends. Fresh fish with the Creelmans in Madaket, lobsters and cornbread with the Bugbees on Southport Island, my first frogs legs at Bastille Day on the beach in Newport, RI. I remember fourth of July 1998 at home making the same baked beans and ham that Gram Forgiel made for my Mom. Fourth of July 1999 was a honeydew and cantaloupe salad with ginger and honey, grilled lamb chops and a tequila, lime, kiwi chutney cooked quickly in the microwave to keep the colors bright.
Summer meals are memorable because they don’t compete. There’s no thirty-day buildup, panic or planning like we have for big holidays. The meals are not grand nor the expectations high. The food is fresh, the techniques simple, and the flavors are as bright as our memories of them.
This peach salsa is quintessential summer. Quick and easy – no cooking – colorful and fun, flavors light and fresh, and pairings are simple – cumin spiced shrimp, grilled chicken or pork, a bowl of crisp tortilla chips. It’s delicious. Dare I say, memorable.
Peach Tomato Salsa
- 2 peaches, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper
- 1/2 large cucumber, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- 1 tbs smoked olive oil*
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbs honey
*Many specialty oil and vinegar stores carry smoked olive oils that have a wonderful campfire flavor. To substitute, swap out the smoked oil and jalapeño for a chipotle chile.
- Mix peaches and vegetables together in a bowl.
- Stir through oil, then cumin and cilantro.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and honey. The salt will bring out the flavor in the veggies, especially the fresh tomatoes, while the honey brings out the flavor in the peaches.
- If this makes it into the fridge before you eat all of it, check the seasoning when you bring it back out to serve. It holds up beautifully for a few days, although the colors will darken a bit.
*Peeling peaches is fun for nobody. We all hate doing it. Cutting that “x” in the bottom then blanching. 1/2 the peel is left behind and the outside of the peach starts to soften, making it hard to cut neatly. Visit Bob King at Washington, DC’s Eastern Market and buy one of his magic peelers. Ask him to show you how to shake it back and forth to peel the peaches. Come back and thank me. 😉