Grilled peaches and fennel
On Sunday I’ll be demonstrating at the Chicago Botanic Garden as part of their annual chefs series. I’ll be grilling peaches with fennel, and maybe slipping in a little of my homemade ginger ale. Here’s the recipe for those who can’t make it (or can’t wait).
Grilled peach and fennel salad with lime cilantro vinaigrette
4 ripe but still firm peaches, halved, pitted and sliced
1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime cilantro vinaigrette
1 small bunch cilantro, about ½ cup leaves
Juice and zest from 2 limes, about ¼ cup juice
½ cup olive oil
1 pinch salt, about 1/8 teaspoon, or more to taste
First, make the vinaigrette. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer and briefly blanch the cilantro: dip it into the water for a second or two until it turns bright green, then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking. Blot thoroughly. Pour lime juice and cilantro into a blender. With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil in until you have a thick emulsion. Add salt to taste.
Preheat grill or grill pan. If you’re grilling outdoors you’ll want a vegetable basket for the onion and fennel; otherwise grill them before slicing. Brush grates with olive oil and drizzle the rest on the onions and fennel. Grill the onions and fennel until tender, then remove from grill and set aside. Grill the peaches for a brief minute or two, turning once, until the aroma is released. You don’t want them too soft, just bright, aromatic and with grill marks.
Gently toss the peaches, onions and fennel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you’d like a composed salad, arrange on a bed of arugula for a spicy bite to complement the sweet peaches. Drizzle with lime cilantro vinaigrette.
Recipe compliments of Janine MacLachlan, The Rustic Kitchen. All rights reserved.