Thanks Yummy Supper via Thomas Keller for this one. Freely adapted based on what was in the store cupboard and what I was too lazy to do. I had picked up some Fennel and Chicory yesterday and Peaches were on offer (under-ripe of course). As I have said previously I am not generally a fan of raw chicory as I find it too bitter, but this inspiration worked for me. The peaches and puree in the vinaigrette made me think that it would balance out the bitterness, and although the recipe didn’t call for Fennel and referenced Almonds, I felt confident that Fennel and Hazlenuts along with the Chicory and Rocket would work well together.
Ok. Shaved the Fennel in a bowl and added a finely diced shallot. In the bowl added 1 Tablespoon of Sherry Vinegar and 3 Table spoons of Olive Oil. Mixed till the vinaigrette emulsified. I dry-toasted some whole hazelnuts added them to the bowl with some Salt & Pepper. The vinaigrette will soften the shallot and Fennel, so leave to stand for a while (30 mins or so preferable).
Next in the recipe it called for Peach Puree to be added to the dressing… I agreed with Yummy Supper and thought that this was faffing around a bit too much. So I went in a different direction (especially as my Peaches weren’t ripe). Cut the peach in half. Roughly chopped one half and threw in fying pan with a cup of water with a sprinkling of cinamon and reduced. Dried the pan out, threw on more water and reduced. Did same again until the peach was soft and melting, and when all the liquid had gone, removed from heat. Took the Peach GLOOP out and put in a Potato Ricer and passed the ‘Puree’ into the Fennel/Salad mix and incorporated. Next and with the other half of the Peach, cut into small slices, I tossed in Olive Oil and an Agave Syrup (I couldn’t find any honey). All I was hoping for was to add some sweetness to the under-ripe Peaches so any sweet(ish) syrup would do. Heated a griddle pan to a very high heat and cooked the dressed peach slices on the griddle. Peach slices cooked after a minute or so on each side (scorch marks preferable). Throw the peach slices into the Fennel salad. I added the Rocket and Chicory at the very end and tossed in the dressing to coat the leaves.
I had marinated some cheap striploin steak in the Juice of a lemon and some olive oil. Put a pan on a high heat and cooked the steak for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side and took off the heat to rest on a chopping board. I had dressed the chopping board with Olive oil, some of the peach juices left over from the pressing/pureeing, freshly chopped parsley, chilli salt and pepper. So as the steak rested, the juices from the steak were mixing with the dressing I had covered the board with. I then cut the steak into finger width strips, and tossed the strips to ensure that they got a good coating with the dressing.
Perfect Summer dish. Light and so easy to put together.