Peach and tomato salad from Whitney Otawka at Farm 255.   (Richard Hamm/Staff)

Summer’s glory: Athens chefs share favorite peach recipes

by / Comments Off / 27 View / May 29, 2013

For Starters: Local Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Peach and tomato salad from Whitney Otawka at Farm 255.   (Richard Hamm/Staff) This is one of my all time favorite summer recipes. Its really important to use heirloom tomatoes and perfectly ripe peaches. This salad is all about highlighting the best summer ingredients at their peak. If your up to the challenge, try making the ricotta at home. Its fun and easy and is always better then what you can get at the store.

Serves 4
For the Ricotta:
(yields about 3 cups)
½ gallon whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
7 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
1 tablespoon salt
Add all of your ingredients into a stainless steel pot. Do not stir. Heat on low until just about to simmer. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minuets. Line a fine mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheese cloth. Gently scoop out the curds of ricotta that have formed on the top of the pot. Place the lined strainer in a bowl and sit in the refrigerator until cool and any remaining liquid has drained from the ricotta. Can be used for up to 4 days.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
(yields about 1 cup)
¼ cup champagne vinegar

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juice, strained
¾ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon finely minced shallots
1 teaspoon salt
In a bowl combine salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and shallots. Slowly whisk in canola oil. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

For the Salad:
2 Heirloom

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1 Georgia Peach
4 to 6 paper thin slices of country ham
1 cup ricotta
½ cup lemon vinaigrette
salt to taste
black pepper
olive oil

For the Salad:
Slice the Heirloom tomatoes into different shapes, rounds and wedges. Lightly season with salt and lemon vinaigrette. Slice the peach into thin rounds. To assemble, layer tomatoes, country ham, and peaches. Top with a scoop of ricotta. Finish with some cracked black pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil. Served with a side of grilled bread.

- Whitney Otawka, Farm 255

Main Course: Grilled Georgia Peaches with Benton’s Country Ham, Blue Cheese and Arugula 052013_Peaches_ACC_MAG03
4 Servings
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Agave nectar or honey
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup canola oil
Salt and cracked black pepper for taste
Whisk the mustard, Agava nectar (or honey), and balsamic vinegar together. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. If needed, add a teaspoon of water to thin the texture of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salad:
12 long thin slices of Benton’s Country Ham or good quality country ham
2 Peaches cut into 6 wedges (total of 12 wedges)
1 Shallot thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked black pepper for taste
½ Cup crumbled firm blue cheese
3 Tablespoons minced chives
3 Cups baby arugula

For the Peaches:
Pre-heat grill to 375 degrees
Wrap the country ham slices around peach slices and secure with toothpicks. Brush the peaches/ham slices lightly with olive oil and grill for three minutes on each side. Remove from grill and keep warm.
Combine the Arugula, shallots and olive oil. Mix well and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Plate the salad and garnish with the peaches divided between four plates. Add crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads and serve.

- Christopher McCook, Athens Country Club

Dessert: Peach Beignets with Clabber Cream 052013_Peach_MAG28
makes 6-8 servings
for the Clabber Cream

1 c heavy cream
1 c sour cream
1/2 c light brown sugar

Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the ingredients together until the cream holds soft peaks. Refrigerate.

for the Peach Beignets

1 1/4 c flour
3/4 c crisp white wine
2 egg yolks
1 T vegetable oil
1/8 t salt
4 ripe peaches
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 T sugar

To prepare, you will want a whisk, a rubber spatula, a couple mixing bowls, an electric mixer, a paring knife, a deep fryer or frying pan with 2 inches of vegetable oil

heated to 350 degrees, and plenty of paper towels for draining.

Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Quickly whisk to break up lumps. Push flour to sides, making a well in the center.

Whisk the wine, egg yolks, vegetable oil and salt together in a bowl. Pour mixture into the flour well and gradually incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients. When smooth, set the batter aside to rest while you prepare the peaches.

Peel the peaches, or leave the skins if you like them. Slice the peach around the pit starting at the stem end, cutting the peach in half. Twist each side away from the pit. Cut the peach halves into wedges.

Make sure the oil is heated so that you will be ready to fry.

With the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form and the whites stand up but droop over when you lift the mixer. Continue whisking and gradually pour in the sugar. Continue whipping just until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. With the spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter until completely blended.

- Mike Sutton, Five & Ten