|Peach and Prosciutto Salad photo tidymom.net|
The heat of summer is here and with it comes an incredible array of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cooking fresh, light and healthy dishes is super-easy in the summer – the amazing produce doesn’t need much to shine! Keep things simple and throw your fruits and vegetables on the grill for extra flavor and sweetness, or leave everything raw for crunch. Truly, it’s summertime and the cooking is easy!
This fresh, light salad combination showcases the best of Colorado’s amazing summer peaches. You can replace the prosciutto with crumbled bacon, or keep it vegetarian and omit the meat altogether. A sharp artisan cheese really brings out the peaches’ sweetness.
Peach & Prosciutto Salad with Balsamic Syrup (serves 4)
2 ripe peaches
4 oz. prosciutto
1 oz. balsamic syrup
6 oz. mixed salad greens
Artisan goat cheese, blue cheese or feta crumbles, if desired
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
Slice peaches into thin wedges, removing pit. Slice prosciutto into one-inch-wide strips and wrap each peach slice with one slice of prosciutto. Arrange salad greens on chilled salad plates and top each plate with a few wrapped peach slices. When ready to serve, drizzle lightly with balsamic syrup and sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper. Sharp cheese crumbles may be added for additional flavor contrast, if desired.
Pasta Pomodoro (serves 4)
(adapted from Bon Appétit)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
About 3 lb. fresh tomatoes, halved, seeded and lightly crushed
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 large fresh basil sprigs
12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti
2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan or Pecorino
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes, being careful not to let garlic brown. Add red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add crushed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Season generously with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.
Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native who holds a Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and is also a Colorado Master Gardener.