The Edible magazines you see at farmers’ markets are usually a good source for recipes using seasonal ingredients. I picked up Edible Piedmont while I was in North Carolina and adapted Sandra Gutierrez’s peach salad recipe. The peaches in Raleigh were ridiculously sweet and juicy. I only had a carry-on luggage with me, but I ended up lugging two shopping bags full of produce back which included a large basket of ripe peaches.
Whenever I travel, I make sure to stop at the local markets. Besides checking out the interesting and local produce, markets make good people-watching. And where there are working people, there’s usually food. It was no different in the North Carolina State Farmers’ Market. I ate sweet, sweet corn, fleshy sprite melons and cantaloupes, ripe heirloom tomatoes and picked on all kinds of plums, all for half the price of what they would be in New York City! I ate most of the peaches as they were, but with the remaining pieces, I made this salad to beat the summer heat.
1/3 cup of rice vinegar
2 tbsps sesame oil
a knob of ginger, peeled, grated
1 Thai chile, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package vermicelli noodles
2 scallions, chopped
2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted, sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, seeded, thinly sliced
a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1. Make the vinaigrette. Combine the rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, chile and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Boil some water in a pot. While waiting for the water to boil, soak vermicelli noodles in cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Add to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice bath. Drain again and dry with paper towels.
3. Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the vegetables and the peaches. Splash with the vinaigrette and mix until well-combined. Serve or chill before serving.