Peaches and Cream(y cheese)

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August is one of my favorite months. Thanks to all the Leos in my life, there’s always a party to kick the month off, and all the joy, energy, and passion they bring to life is infectious. Doesn’t August make you feel bolder? But then as the month goes on, it starts to feel like summer’s last sunset. The days are getting shorter and even the afternoons take on a hazy, golden glow. Fall is definitely rearing its cozy head, but I’m not ready to let go of summer yet (because fall means homework, and my brain isn’t there yet!).

If you’re trying to hold onto summer, make this salad and take it outdoors ASAP. With just *four* ingredients, you have the makings of an ode to late summer produce. And the reason this salad needs such few ingredients is because all of the produce used is picked at the height of their season. For this, I picked up my peaches and tomatoes from Springbrook Farm in Littleton, MA at the Waltham Farmer’s Market and picked the basil from my garden. You literally couldn’t get fresher ingredients if you tried!

Buying food that is local and in-season makes such a huge difference in terms of quality of produce, but it also is vital for reducing your carbon footprint. In the United States, food travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to our plate, and we’re only just scratching the surface here. What about the energy it takes to store food that isn’t in season? Or the plastic so much of the produce in supermarkets is encased in? Buying locally not only reduces emissions and plastic waste, but it also means you’re investing in local farms and local businesses.

One of my favorite local businesses is the American Provisions store in Ashmont and South Boston because they stock their shelves with all locally sourced, ethically produced food and goods. It was here that I picked up some Mozzarella House burrata made in Peabody, MA (25 miles from me in Dorchester!). Burrata cheese if you haven’t tried it yet is the creamier, milkier, and (in my opinion) better sibling to mozzarella cheese. It’s light, refreshing, and the perfect accompaniment to some salty heirloom tomatoes and ripe peaches.

Because the ingredients themselves are so fresh and flavorful, all this salad needs is plenty of salt and freshly cracked pepper to elevate the flavors. A trick is to salt the tomatoes liberally and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. The salt really helps the tomatoes become the best versions of themselves by drawing out some moisture and intensifying that tomato essence. Trust me and salt them heavily! You can thank me later.

Peach and Burrata Salad

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thickly
  • 4 peaches, sliced into wedges
  • 1 ball of burrata cheese
  • 1 bunch of basil, with the leaves torn off the stems
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  1. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a cutting board. Salt with 1 tablespoon of salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Arrange on a large platter after they’ve rested.
  2. Layer the peaches on the platter, and place the burrata cheese ball in the center.
  3. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper and drizzle the burrata with a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Scatter basil leaves over the salad and serve immediately.

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