A bite into the perfectly ripe peach and having the juice drip down your chin can be one of summer’s sweetest treats. Farmers markets are overflowing with summer produce and, like me, you may be tempted to buy a couple of baskets of peaches because they are just that good. But in case you can’t eat them all before they over-ripen, there are ways that you can enjoy this beautiful fruit in many other dishes, in their simplest form – such as this peachy bean salad.
Peaches are not only delicious, but they also pack tons of nutrients, including being a good source of vitamin C. A study published in the Nutrition Journal found that higher intakes of vitamin C might be associated with improved blood pressure numbers. Peaches also supply vitamin A, potassium and dietary fiber, making them as satisfying as they are delicious.
Ripe peaches that aren’t going to be enjoyed in a day or two should be kept in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. I was told at the farmers market to lay them in a single layer in a crisper drawer because they like to breathe. They could also bruise easily if stacked on top of each other.
Still have more peaches than you can handle at the moment? Freeze them. To freeze, spread pitted ripe peach halves or quarters on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other. Brushing some lemon juice on the exposed parts can help the peaches maintain their color. Place the tray in your freezer until the pieces are solid, and then store them in your freezer in an airtight container until needed for smoothies, sauces and baked goods.
Now to the recipe. This salad is fresh and sweet. It makes a perfect presentation for guests, but can also be made into a Mason jar salad for a lunch. Just add the dressing to the bottom and layer the rest of the ingredients on top.
Peachy Bean Salad
• 8 cups salad greens
• 2 cups cooked or canned navy beans
• 2 to 3 peaches, pitted sliced into wedges
• 1 1/2 cups roasted red peppers
• 1 cucumber, chopped
• 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
• 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbsp almond butter
• 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Divide the greens, beans, peaches, peppers, cucumber and goat cheese among 4 serving plates (or mason jars)
Combine the oil, almond butter, vinegar, garlic and salt, along with 2 Tbsp of water, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the dressing over the salads and sprinkle on pumpkin seeds.
Photo from here, with thanks.