The warmer months have finally brought the return of seasonal farmers markets to Nashville and along with them, the start of peach season.
I love peach season.
Is there anything sweeter or more summery than biting into a soft, juicy fruit over the kitchen sink, juices dribbling down your chin, your arms, your fingers? Is there anything harder to ignore than the innate pleasure of that sweet nectar on your tongue?
At the market downtown, a brown bag of freshly picked peaches costs about eight dollars, and when you hand over your cash, the seller urges patience.
“Wait two or three days! Leave them in the trunk of your car to make it quick!”
But with memories of previous years’ peaches dancing in my head as soon as I saw the stand by the side of the road, I was already fantasizing about fresh fruit for breakfast or lunch.
One short day of ripening on the counter later, when I reached into the bag for a peach to gently squeeze, it gave at my touch.
The moment I realized the peaches were ripe, I imagined baby Rocco’s reaction to them.
To me, the appeal of peaches is a known pleasure; to him, it is a discovery yet to be made. So when he woke from his nap, Tim and I walked out to the deck. We set down an old tablecloth and placed Rocco on top of it, and we handed him a peach.
In moments, his three small teeth were breaking the skin, taking in the ripe flesh, juices running all over his hands, his arms, his legs, the cloth.
“Mmmmm,” he kept saying while he ate it, almost as if he were letting us know it was good. As much as I love a good peach, I love seeing him love it just as much. What pleasure to give my baby something good and see him like it! What delight to get to be the one to hand him his first, ripe Georgia peach!
So often when I’m making something to eat or buying groceries at the store, I take in the smells and textures and colors in front of me, and I think about how grateful I am for these pleasures.
I’m so grateful to slice ripe peaches on a cutting board and arrange them alongside slices of mozzarella cheese and leaves of fresh basil, to drizzle balsamic vinegar and honey on top, to sprinkle fine sea salt and to crack black pepper over everything for a flavorful finishing touch.
It would be disingenuous to claim this as a recipe when truly it’s a method, one that can be applied to various ingredients (like fresh summertime tomatoes) and that I remembered when I was in the kitchen slicing the season’s first ripe peaches.
All you need to remember are the ingredients, and the proportions are truly up to you. What you wind up with is a softer, juicer, seasonally appropriate version of a classic caprese salad, where every bite of juicy fruit and satisfying cheese is something to be savored.Print
Peach caprese salad is completely stress free, highlighting the sweet fruit, the savory flavor of the mozzarella cheese, and the herbaceous notes of the basil. It’s perfect for summer.
- 3 ripe peaches
- 1 8-oz ball fresh mozzarella cheese
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the peaches and the mozzarella into pieces of a similar thickness.
- Layer sliced peaches, mozzarella, and basil leaves on two plates, dividing the ingredients evenly between the two.
- Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
- Category: Salad
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: peach, basil, balsamic vinegar, salad, honey, vegetarian
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Out Ingredients
Measure out all of the ingredients on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Slice Fruit and Cheese
Slices the peaches and mozzarella into pieces that are similar in size and thickness.
Step 3 – Assemble
Layer a slice of peach, then slice of mozzarella, and then a basil leaf on a small salad plate. Repeat this process until you’ve used half of the ingredients.
Repeat this again with remaining ingredients on a second small salad plate.
Step 4 – Dress Salad and Serve
Drizzle the salads evenly with balsamic vinegar and honey.
Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Fresh Ingredients Make the Best Recipe
When it comes to making this salad, you have to focus on selecting the freshest ingredients possible, at the peak of ripeness.
Since you’re working with only has a handful of ingredients, those have to shine. Make sure the peaches are perfectly ripe, with just a little bit of give when you gently squeeze them.
Pick a ball of fresh mozzarella that’s high in quality so you can really highlight its subtle flavor.
Finally, make sure those basil leaves are full and bright, not wilted. This is a great way to use up any fresh basil you have growing in your garden as well. Want to grow your own? Check out these tips on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.
For other salads that are excellent for eating this summer season, check out the recipes below:
- Simple Summer Panzanella
- Colorful Fiesta Kale Salad
- Fresh Berries and Spinach
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Parsley Dressing
- Peach and Corn
- Arugula Dijon Salad with Figs and Pistachios
Will you eat this peach caprese salad for dinner, or as an opener for a grilled summer meal? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it as well!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 19, 2016. Last updated: December 28, 2019 at 1:28 am. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.