I tell you, the Ottolenghi cookbook has a wealth of tantalising recipes that I return to again and again. Chief amongst these are the griddled lamb chops with the amazing minty herby salty sweet marinade that doubles up as a sauce (which I should actually post at some point in the future since I’ve done it so many times) and a simple chargrilled broccoli dish with a dressing of oil, fried garlic and chillies. Notice the common factor in these recipes? The griddle pan. The caramelised lines of sweetness add depth and warmth to anything you chuck onto the pan. The only drawback is probably cleaning it after use. Trying to get into all those ridges and clean all the gunk can be a bit of a pain, but I’ve developed a nifty trick of wiping my non-stick pans down with kitchen paper whilst the oil and residue are just off the stove and still warm and therefore softer and easier to remove.
I got these blushing white-fleshed peaches from the grocer for such great value – 5 for 99p! That they were white instead of yellow peaches were just an added bonus. After having the griddle treatment, the warm and caramel-ly peaches still retained that wonderful light blossom-y peach flavour.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe a little, more out of necessity than originality because I just used what I had in the fridge! Ottolenghi used endives, watercress and baby chard leaves, and I just decided to chuck all those lovely different flavours out of the window and used rocket leaves instead, and I used Serrano ham instead of speck.
Serves 2 for a starter or 1 for a large main
2 large ripe peaches
1 tbsp olive oil
30g rocket leaves
4 slices of Serrano ham
sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Place a griddled pan over medium high heat and let it heat up for several minutes.
- Cut each peach in half and each half into three wedges. Toss the peaches with the olive oil, salt & black pepper.
- Place the peach wedges on the pan and grill them for 2-3 minutes on the first side, until brown charcoal lines form, then flip over and grill them on the other side. Be careful as the pan would have heated up even more by then and the second side will not take as long to cook. Remove them from the pan and leave to cool.
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Toss the peaches in about a third of the dressing.
- Artfully scatter the peaches, rocket leaves and ham slices over a serving plate and drizzle the dressing over the salad. There will probably be some dressing leftover, so don’t drench the salad in it.