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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Feta & Griddled Peach Salad (BBC GoodFood '101 Veggie Dishes' Recipe)

This one may sound a bit weird, but bear with me. It was actually one of the first recipes my girlfriend and I tried from BBC GoodFood's '101 Veggie Dishes' book, but I completely forgot to write it up and left it aside for months on end. Oddly, I cannot find this exact recipe on the GoodFood website (the two recipes that are up there both include chicken in one form or another), so hopefully I can get away with listing the ingredients and details of how it's made. We didn't follow the recipe precisely as specified anyway (it was written to serve four!) and it's not as if I'd be reproducing it word-for-word...

Ingredients:
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Peaches
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Bag Mixed Salad
  • Approx 250g Penne Pasta
  • Approx 150g Feta
  • Fresh Mint (enough for approximately 1 tbsp once chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Preparation Time: about 15 minutes

Tools Required:
  • Griddle Pan
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Kitchen Knife
The Process:
Start the pasta off as per your preference. This should take about 10-12 minutes, so you can safely leave that going while getting on with other bits.

Cut the peaches into wedges and squeeze the lime juice over the pieces. Since I don't have a griddle pan, we had to make do with basically toasting our peach wedges under the grill. The peaches we picked up weren't especially ripe (typical supermarket stuff), so they didn't work out very well. They're meant to go on a high heat for only two or three minutes a side, which should leave them "nicely charred". This is probably easier to accomplished with a griddle pan and with ripe peaches.

Slice the onion thinly, cut the feta into manageable pieces and chop the mint. Mix them all together with the salad leaves, pasta and olive oil in your bowl. Serve up, topping with a little pepper if you wish.

The Results:
Mixing fruit with any kind of traditionally savoury dish always sounds wrong, but gammon has been served with pineapple for years, and my local pizza place offers both pineapple and peach as toppings, so maybe I need to open my mind to fruit in my main course.

This certainly turned out more pleasant than I was expecting. The mint softened the bite of the feta and rocket, either of which can be overpowering under some conditions. The pasta component was not a part of the original recipe, and was included here to bulk up the dish, as it just seemed a bit too light and salad-y... Though perhaps that's because we cut the quantities of the ingredients. We didn't mix everything up quite as well as we could, essentially ending up with a very layered salad topped with pasta and peach, but it's certainly a good dish to try during the warmer months of the year

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