this recipe from chef hugh acheson, vaulted off the page when i thumbed through an issue of food and wine . . . the colors, the flavor combinations, the fact that on my counter sat a bowl of the three main ingredients– just hauled in from a few local farms. and, out in my kitchen garden are basil plants with full canopies of their signature fragrant, arching leaves.
headliners of this salad are the tomatoes and peaches that ring out loud with acidic and sweet notes. second fiddle is carried by the jalapeños which add a conspicuous element of hotness that is quickly tamed by a pickling brine. the dressing is a synthesis of salt, citrus, piquancy, and smoothness from the avocado oil. the heady perfume of basil ends each bite with anise notes. in total, this dish is one of the best things i've eaten all summer . . . worth setting my spoon down to fork it over.
adapted recipe from chef hugh acheson. but remember, i don't actually measure–i taste and adjust to my own liking.
- 3 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- about 1 tablespoon of honey
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3-5 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 peaches, cut into wedges
- garden fresh basil leaves
- in a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the vinegar, honey and salt, stirring to dissolve the honey. remove the pan from the heat.
- add the jalapeños to the brine, and let them stand until cooled to room temperature.
- meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, mustard and the avocado oil. taste to adjust for balance.
- arrange the basil leaves, tomato slices, and peaches on a platter.
- remove the jalapeños from the brine with a slotted spoon, and add to the platter.
- drizzle the salad with the soy-lime dressing.