Heirloom Tomato, Peach & Herb “Gazpacho Salad”

I usually think of tomatoes and peaches separately from a cooking standpoint—gazpacho soup, say, or a piping hot peach pie. But these two stars of the summer farmer’s market have a few things in common. They’re both fruit, though in the kitchen we typically think of tomatoes as a vegetable. They each taste delicious and are loaded with good juices. And they’re currently at their seasonal peak. Which begs the question: What about a culinary marriage?

“Go ahead and turn them into a salad,” says chef and food writer Susie Middleton in her excellent cookbook Fast, Fresh & Green (Chronicle Books, 2010). “They’re in season together, and they taste great together, with the sweetness of the peach balancing the acidity of the tomato.”

Middleton has created a colorful and flavorful summer salad, relying on ripe heirloom tomatoes, peaches, and fresh herbs. Why the name, “gazpacho salad”?

“You can roughly purée any leftovers in a blender, chill it, and you’ve got a delicious gazpacho,” writes Middleton in Fast, Fresh & Green, where this recipe appears. She recommends making this salad only when tomatoes and peaches are in season.

No cooking required for this dish. The tomatoes are stemmed, cored, and cut into pieces. The peaches are peeled, cut into wedges, and placed in a bowl along with the tomatoes and slices of red onion.

Middleton makes a dressing using extra virgin olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, lemon zest, and salt.

Add the dressing as well as fresh mint and basil leaves. Gently toss the salad. And you’re ready to go.

“If you can, try not to toss the salad until a few minutes before serving—while the flavor improves with sitting, the looks and texture do not,” says Middleton.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch