Late summer is my favorite time for produce in Michigan. Peaches and tomatoes rarely taste as good from the supermarket any other time of the year. So to celebrate, when you have ripe peaches and tomatoes, try this four ingredient salad for dinner.
The sweetness of the peaches, the slight acidity of the tomatoes are unified with a small amount of balsamic vinegar. A pinch of salt enhances everything.
The texture of this salad is perfected by peeling both the peach and the tomato. Silkiness of texture is almost “melt in your mouth.” To be sure they peel easily, be sure your fruit is very ripe. I have blanched and shocked in ice water the peaches and tomatoes to facilitate peeling, but that is more work than I want to do. You can leave some of the peel on, just realize you will not have the same unctuous texture.
This is not an especially quick salad, because it takes a few minutes to peel and seed the tomato, peel and chop the peach. I often leave the tomato peel on, but usually peel the peach.
First, core and gently peel the tomatoes.
I seed the tomato by cutting it around the equator (NOT through the core – the other way) and putting my thumb in each of the pockets with seeds and pushing the seeds and surrounding jelly into a waiting weck jar. All the “jelly” surrounding the seeds is packed with flavor so save it to add to your next cooked tomato dish. Last night I added it to Tomatoes, Onions and Peppers. Even if you do not have a weck jar, I recommend storing the tomato “guts” in glass as the acid might score a plastic container.
Slice the tomatoes into one half to three quarter inch slices and then cut the slices into one half inch to three quarter inch pieces.
Now peel your peaches. I like to cut a slit down to the pit in one half of the peach. I then use my paring knife to slide up a small section of the peel. If you are fortunate, you can just pull gently and it will come away cleanly (in several pieces). About half of the time, I struggle because the peach is either not ripe enough (I get impatient waiting!!) or this peach is just not going to peel well. You can actually use your knife to cut away the skin like you would an apple, or leave the rest of the skin on. Be sure you attempt to peel in several locations. For some reason I often find the darker parts of a peach peel easier.
To cut the peach, work over your bowl that contains your tomatoes. Slice sections about one half inch at the widest point. (Think orange sections, but instead of being divided naturally, your knife is dividing them.)
If you have a freestone peach, the sections will drop into the bowl. If your peach is not a freestone, you may need to slice them off the pit which will be challenging for the first two or three. If you are purchasing your peaches at a farmer’s market, ask for freestone peaches if available! The red havens have been excellent this year.
If your peach sections have lots of fiber or hard spots where the pit was, you can slice this away. I usually do not bother, but occasionally I need to because it is too hard or stringy. Now cut the slices into one half inch to three quarter inch sections. They will not be even but this is ok. You want them roughly the same size as the tomatoes.
Gently mix the peaches and tomatoes together. You want about as many peach pieces as tomato pieces. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. I like the Trader Joe’s for every day. For about 2-3 peaches and tomatoes I use one teaspoon of balsamic (yes, I actually get out a teaspoon and measure.) It will not seem like enough balsamic. Sprinkle with a little salt – about 1/2 teaspoon or less. Mix gently and thoroughly.
Let sit for five minutes or more, stirring a couple of times and serve. We like to eat it from small bowls with spoons so we can scoop up some of the yummy juices with the peaches and tomatoes. The juice is an essential part of the salad, so do not just let it sit. Enjoy!
Simple Peach Tomato Salad
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 2 medium peaches
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- .25 teaspoon salt
- Core the tomato. Peel and seed if desired.
- Cut tomato into dice that is about 3/4 inch.
- Peel the peach.
- Cut the peach into slices. Dice the slices into roughly the same size pieces as the tomato.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Pour in balsamic vinegar and gently mix thoroughly.