This Peach, Burrata and Basil Salad Makes a Sweet and Savoury Summer Appetizer
A recipe for a flavourful salad with fresh summer peaches, excerpted from Peak Season, a cookbook by Deirdre Buryk.
Peaches are a quintessential summer fruit, and as you’ll see in this dish, this is the time of year to remind yourself that simple food is best. The secret to a good peach salad is to use fruit at its peak ripeness—as is the case in July in Ontario. A ripe peach gives a little when squeezed, and when the sun is high in the sky, a peach will set off a sweet fragrance. That is how you know your peach is ready. But who needs all of those details when the best test is to taste it? Bite into one and let the juice spill down your chin, onto your fingers, and down your forearm.
Here we lay a bed of peach slices across a plate as if they were a picnic blanket bracing the very large misshapen ball of burrata that is to be cut down the centre, only to let cream ooze out onto each slice. Finish with a scoop of vinegary pink pickled onions and brighten the dish with a bit of fresh basil to clean the palate. I like freestone peaches (easy to remove from the pit) for slicing and clingstone for handheld eating, but when given no choice, the ripest of any variety will taste best. This salad is spectacular on its own, but it goes well with a nice barbecue dinner.
Peach, Burrata & Basil Salad
- 10 peaches, stoned and sliced 20 fresh basil leaves
- 1 ball burrata (8.8 ounces/250 grams)
- 3 tablespoons quick pickled onions, including the brine
- Flaky sea salt or finishing salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Decorate a serving plate with the peach slices and basil leaves. Top with the burrata and pickled onions, along with a spoonful or two of the pickling brine. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Excerpted from Peak Season by Deirdre Buryk. Copyright © 2022 Deirdre Buryk. Photography © 2021 Janette Downie. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.