It may be grey and stormy enough to have whipped the waves into galloping white horses, but in Auckland in January, it’s still hot and muggy enough to have the sweat dripping off you if you so much as look at a flight of stairs.
Still Salad weather then.
I found a gorgeous recipe for a Peach and Goats curd salad in my Xmas gifted Taste Magazine. It suggests rocket and watercress salad, with yellow and white peaches, parma ham, goats curd and pine nuts. I priced the watercress in the supermarket and it was $3.79 for a bag. Hmm I thought. I know where there’s a little stream…..
So I found proscuitto and goats cheese on special, picked three varieties of lettuce from my garden, along with chives, mint and lemon balm, and then went on the hunt for watercress. I usually have rocket in my garden, but haven’t planted it this year, so I thought my own salad leaves would be perfectly adequate for this, and I wasn’t wrong.
Watercress grows in shallow running water. It grows wild. I thought I knew a stream where there might be some, and sure enough there was! Neither of us had foraged for watercress before, but I’d taken a good look at what it looked like in the supermarket bag, and had a feeling I’d seen it growing before. We had a taste, and voila!
So, these ingredients don’t look exactly cheap do they! The secret is firstly buying on special. Secondly, don’t use it all, unless you’re feeding a lot of course. We just used half the packet of proscuitto, and half the goat’s cheese, so I can feel yet another salad dinner coming on. At the Bin Inn, you can buy tiny amounts of pine nuts. I think my two tablespoons was NZ$1.26 or something ridiculous like that. One tablespoon would actually have been enough. If fresh peaches aren’t in season or cheap for you, you could probably use a sale priced tin of peaches in juice. So by being smart, you can make a meal that would probably cost you NZ$35.00 each in a restaurant and be happy that it cost you NZ$5.00 each.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a go.
Peach and Goat's Curd Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp honey
2 bunches rocket (or other salad and herb leaves)
1 cup watercress sprigs
1 white peach, pitted and cut into wedges
1 yellow peach, pitted and cut into wedges (I couldn’t find one, so I used a nectarine. It was perfectly fine for the task.)
8 slices Parma ham (or proscuitto) coarsely torn
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts (buy raw and toast yourself – watch every second as they burn in a flash!)
100g goat’s curd (or goat’s cheese)
- Combine oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange salad leaves, watercress, peaches and Parma Ham on a platter. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with pine nuts and dollop with curd.