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Recipe of the week: Southern grilled peach salad

Here’s a dish that’s a true peach. It reminds me of two of my favorite local salads – which are, essentially, peach parties on a plate. Recently I swooned over a wood-fired peach salad at Lantana’s Oceano Kitchen, where chef Jeremy Bearman completed the dish with a plump orb of burrata, speck ham shavings, arugula, a savory granola accented by pecans and pink peppercorns, and a drizzle of maple-sherry vinegar. 

Turns out peaches love pink peppercorns. Ask chef Jason Stocks, who lavishes his roasted peach salad with a pink-peppery touch at his District Table restaurant in Stuart

The Kentucky-inspired salad described in the following recipe is as lovely as it is adaptable. Featured in the newly released cookbook, “Red, White, and ‘Que,” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (Running Press, $25), the dish calls for a sweet drizzle of sorghum, which could be swapped out for local honey. It also calls for freshly ground black pepper, but would welcome a fragrant sprinkling of ground pink pepper. 

Customized or not, the sweet-salty-smoky notes of this dish will make it the salad of summer. 


Recipe and authors’ text reprinted from the book, “Red, White, and ‘Que,” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, with permission of the publisher, Running Press. 

Grilled Peaches, Country Ham, and Frisée with Sorghum Drizzle 

“Sweet and salty flavors come together in this Kentucky salad. If country ham is not available in your area, use prosciutto instead; you can also use local wildflower honey or pure cane syrup in place of sorghum. Adapted from a recipe by Levon Wallace of Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky.” – Karen Adler and Judith Fertig  

Serves 4 to 6  

  • 4 large ripe, firm peaches, pitted and halved 
  • 12 thin slices country ham or prosciutto (about 12 ounces) 
  • Olive oil, for brushing 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 small heads frisée or other frilly, bitter green, torn 
  • 1⁄ 2 cup sorghum (can substitute wildflower honey or pure cane syrup)  

1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.  

2. Cut each peach half into thirds. Wrap each third with a slice of ham and secure with toothpicks. Trans¬fer the peach wedges to a large baking sheet to carry out to the grill. Brush with olive oil and season with pepper.  

3. Grill each peach wedge for 3 minutes, turning often, until the ham turns a dark pink and looks caramelized.  

4. To serve, line a platter with frisée. Top with the grilled, ham-wrapped peach wedges. Drizzle with sorghum and serve.

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