This salad is the product of a few of summer’s simple pleasures, peaches, fresh mint and the act of turning pure potential energy into the kind of kinetic energy born by one of the greatest human achievements–a bicycle ride. Last weekend I rented a road bike and traversed the landscape outside of the city, getting lost in my thoughts and daydreams. I collected the components for this salad stop by stop based on what looked good and smelled ripe. Before the summer relents, transferring its bounteous spell to the apple orchards and pumpkin patches, I plan on squeezing out every last drop.
This peach, mint and beet salad is easily crafted. All it requires is a tiny bit of chopping, the boiling and peeling of the beets and if you’d like to add a bit of quinoa to it, the boiling of that as well. The most rigorous work is in the chopping. I’ve chosen to let the flavors speak for themselves, tying them together with nothing, but a bit of lime juice. Normally, I might add a hint of cumin to it, but I was in the mood to enjoy each component without tinkering with it.
- 2 cups of water for boiling
- 2 to 3 peaches, chopped
- 1 cup pea shoots, bottom trimmed
- 1 handful fresh or dried figs, chopped
- 3 candy-stripe beets
- 1 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 1 dash of salt to taste
Boil the 2 cups of water. Place the three beets in the boiling water and let them cook for 30 minutes. When they yield to a fork, remove from water, run under cold water and the skins should peel right off, with a little rubbing. When they are peeled, chop into thin chunks.
As the beets cook, chop up the pea shoots, mint leaves, figs and peaches into small cubes. Place in a large bowl and mix together. Add cumin if desired, squeeze lime juice over the bowl, add a dash of salt, mix and serve.