A summer salad from British chef Heston Blumenthal. "This salad gets its edge from the combination of peach, cloves and Gruyère, which have an amazing affinity due to compounds they have in common. The peaches must be perfectly ripe, so this is a salad for summer, when the fruit are at their best. The ham adds flavour and texture."
8 tsp white wine vinegar
2-1/2 tbsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
8 tbsp groundnut or grape seed oil
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6-1/3 oz. Parma ham slices
2 ripe peaches
7 oz. rocket leaves
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Step 1: Combine the vinegar and mustard in a bowl and whisk together. Slowly add in the oil while still whisking. Season with salt. Combine the vinaigrette with the ground cloves.
Step 2: For the peach salad, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Let the liquid reduce to a syrup consistency (approximately 10 minutes), and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
Step 3: While the vinegar is reducing, place the slices of ham in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will make them easier to cut. Chop the slices roughly.
Step 4: Halve the peaches, remove the stones and slice the flesh into thin wedges.
Step 5: When ready to serve, toss the rocket leaves in the vinaigrette and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the peach slices, the Parma ham and Gruyère shavings and, using a spoon or squeezy bottle, drizzle the reduced balsamic over the top of the salad.
See more recipes from Heston Blumenthal.
Reprinted with permission from Heston Blumenthal at Home (2011 Bloomsbury).