The tangy sweetness of a fresh ripe peach gives this salad dressing great flavor, as well as a beautiful silky texture. Add the optional cayenne for a bit of a kick.
And then what? I love this dressing on either bright, peppery greens like arugula, since the sweetness and spicy kick are amped up by the contrast. Similarly, I like it with more bitter greens, like endive and escarole, since the sublime sweetness of the peach in the dressing tempers their tougher edges. Add in some onion for a pungent bite, croutons or walnuts for crunch, and feta or cojita for a smooth saltiness. Since peaches and tomatoes have more in common than you may guess, this dressing works nicely on tomato-laden salads, too.
Know that this dressing can be made and kept, covered and chilled, for up to three days.
- First things first: you need to pit and peel that peach. If you're also peeling peaches for other uses, go ahead and blanch and peel them (see How to Peel Peaches for tips). If you're just peeling this peach, cut the peach in half through to the pit all the way around, twist the two sides, and pull them apart away from the pit (see How to Pit Peaches). Then simply use a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife to cut off and discard the peel from the two halves (some people may find it easier to peel the peaches if they are cut into quarters first).
- Cut the peeled peach into chunks and place them in a blender with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and cayenne. Whirl until utterly smooth.
This recipe yields more than enough to dress 4 to 6 cups of salad greens (luckily, any excess can be kept, covered and chilled, for a few days in the fridge).