I may have only spent two months in Venice last fall, but my inspiration from those two months is nearly bottomless. I mean my living room had a chandelier and there was a small market stall stocked with fresh produce just in front of my apartment. It was all so dreamy. A short walk away, there were canals where produce was sold on boats. At times it was almost too dreamy, too fairy-tale like, but complain I did not.
And then there was the produce itself. Zucchini flowers, which are impossible to buy in Munich and which I only semi-successfully grew myself on my balcony, were suddenly for sale directly in front of my door. Next to those zucchini flowers, were white peaches. Gorgeous Italian white peaches. I was surprised to find them still in October, but once again complain I did not.
I first made this salad in Venice. I was walking home from work one day, accompanied by a demanding appetite. As I walked briskly over bridges and through tourists, I made a tally in my head of what I had in the fridge. It wasn't much. Smoked Salmon. Fennel. And then I thought of what to do with those two and my answer involved a white peach. This trio was a hit and one I repeated a few times for lunch that fall (this salad packs well in a jar).
I made this salad again this summer, but this time was in Munich and although I wasn't buying Italian peaches in Italy, the salad was a winner nonetheless.
When I return to Munich and to my kitchen, the days will be shorter and the markets are more likely to have plums and figs than peaches. But you can still make this salad this summer and I highly suggest that you do. It is simplicity at its best. Although the main ingredients are only three, it is a salad rich in texture and flavours. The fennel is crisp and refreshing, the salmon rich, and the white peach sweet.
When I visited a green tea plantation last week, I bought some peaches from a small food stall next to the bus stop. The man kindly washed two with great attention to detail, placing them in a bowl with water, splashing them around, pouring fresh water on them and then drying them gently and slowly. I had assumed that the peaches were yellow since this is most often the case, but they were white. There is just something about a white peach. Perhaps this is why I enjoy the bellini so much.
The recipe is for one, but it is easily doubled or tripled so share the white peach love while it lasts.
White peach, fennel and smoked salmon salad
1 white peach, pitted and thinly sliced
1 small fennel frond, thinly sliced
200 g smoked salmon (preferably wild)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt
fennel fronds, to garnish
Half the peach, remove the pit and then thinly slice the flesh. Then, slice the fennel, also thinly.
On a plate, arrange a layer of fennel and then drizzle the fennel with some of the olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle it with salt. Add a layer of peaches and repeat the drizzle and sprinkle. Same goes with the smoked salmon and then repeat and repeat until you've gone through your ingredients. Make the last drizzle and sprinkle extra generous and then garnish the salad with fennel fronds.