Just lean back, close your eyes, and go to your happy place.
The place where sweet crispy pork, highlighted by brown sugar and cayenne, flirts with warm, firm, just-sweet-enough peaches. Vidalia onions add crunch without acrid bite, then ahhhh, the creamy, herb-fresh dressing poured overtop.
I enjoy food. A lot. I like a lot of different tastes and flavours. And there are many times I get close to reaching flavour nirvana. But I might have to reserve a special place on the blog for those extra special moments, like this one, where I see (food) God. It’s rare. It’s fleeting. It’s indescribable.
And it’s easier than you think. This recipe calls for lots of time spent baking bacon and grilling onions in the oven. To save time and to prevent my warm house from overheating, I prepared the bacon in a frying pan and used my trusty grill for the onions and peaches. Between prep and cooking time, I’d say 30 minutes is all you need. To reach food heaven? It’s worth it to me.
This dish from my Summer Salad Series really threw me for a loop. I will be back tomorrow with my picks for next week. In the meantime, hit the local fruit market and get yourself some juicy peaches. That’s an order!
Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon with Buttermilk Dressing
via Food & Wine Magazine–link to recipe here
The secret to this salad is using big, juicy sweet onions like the Vidalias that Linton Hopkins favors, which get nicely charred on…
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound thick-sliced bacon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut into 1-inch-thick slabs
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
4 large ripe peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sour cream, buttermilk, mint, parsley, chives and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cayenne. Bake for about 25 minutes, until caramelized (the bacon will crisp as it cools). Let cool, then cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.
- Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until softened and browned, 10 minutes. Separate the onions into rings. Brush the peaches with olive oil and grill over moderately high heat until tender, 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- In a large bowl, toss the onions with the peaches and bacon. Add the buttermilk dressing and toss to coat. Serve right away.