Pickled peach and goat cheese salad with Parma ham may sound strange, but the mix of flavours & textures makes for a perfect summer meal.
The addition of some crispy grilled ciabatta bread and peppery rocket or arugula round out the flavours in this delicious main course salad.
Ham and Cheese Salad with a Twist
If adventures in North African/Persian food defined my winter. Then my summer has been all about pickles and salads.
This ham, pickled peach and goat cheese salad follows on from the likes of my smoked mackerel salad with apple and bacon, sausage salad, puy lentil salad, gammon salad, and Thai Beef Salad in this season’s culinary ramblings.
Growing up salads always seemed to be a series of incoherent ingredients that were just thrown together.
Maybe if you were lucky they were dressed in some form of unrelated dressing, but building the perfect salad is actually really easy!
Everything here is meant to go together, the salty ham and acidic goats cheese are all about complementing those sweet pickled peaches.
The earthy walnuts and grilled ciabatta bread add both texture and substance to the meal.
It is all rounded out with the wonderfully peppery rocket or arugula and also a fantastic dressing featuring peach juice.
If you like the idea of peaches in a salad you must check out my lentil, peach and feta cheese salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is aged goats cheese?
Most of us know goat cheese as the soft and spreadable Chevre, but you can also get aged goat cheese.
As with all cheeses the process of aging drives off moisture and as a result, creates a firmer texture.
It is made in many countries around Europe, the Spanish have a variety called Garrotxa and we Brits have the whimsically named Ticklemore. The Dutch even have an aged Goats cheese gouda that is spectacular.
Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Ocado all stock hard goats cheese too, I have used the Tesco’s “finest” Cave aged goat cheese in this recipe with success.
It also appears in my pesto pasta with goat cheese.
Can I use soft goats cheese?
Yes, it works wonderfully in this salad although the flavour is a little milder than the aged cheese. I prefer the soft cheese in something like my goats cheese cannelloni recipe or straight-up breaded and fried goats cheese recipe!
Can I pickle the peaches in advance?
I would not because they will take on way too much of a pickle flavour. I would limit it to an hour at the very most.
Can I use any type of ham?
Yes! Do not focus too much on Parma ham, the world is littered with great cured pork products.
Black Forest ham from Germany and Serrano ham would work really well. Jambon de Bayonne from France or Wiltshire Cured ham from the UK would also be superb.
I consider this goats cheese salad with pickled peaches to be a complete light meal that is perfect on a summer’s day.
However, if you remove the parma ham, it also makes a fantastic side salad for a piece of grilled or BBQ’d meat.
It’s also delicious with something like my bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin which mirrors some of the sweet salty flavours of the ham in the original dish.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
- Griddle pan.
- Large flat bowl to marinate the peaches.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Large salad bowl.
- Jar or mixing bowl to make the dressing.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Ham, cheese and pickles make for a classic salad and this pickled peach and goat cheese salad is joined by some great hame and walnuts for a delicious and innovative light treat!
- 125ml (½ Cup) White Wine Vinegar
- 65g (⅓ Cup) Sugar
- 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 Peach
- 50g (⅓ Cup) Red Onion
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, Plus extra to rub bread
- 2 Tbsp Peach Juice
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- 80g (⅔ Cup) Aged Goats Cheese
- 75g (2½oz) Parma Ham or other good quality ham
- 30g (⅓ Cup) Shelled Walnuts
- 1 Handful Rocket (Arugula)
- 4 Slices Ciabatta Bread
- Extra salt to taste
- Place the sugar, coarse sea salt and white wine vinegar in a 15cm or 6" saucepan, then heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Whilst the pickling liquid is heating up split the peaches in half and remove the stone, then cut the peach into 16 wedges.
- Cut the red onion in half, then peel it and cut it into half-moon shapes as finely as you can.
- Place the peaches and onions in a shallow bowl in a single layer, pour over the pickling liquid and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, peach juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt to taste and set aside.
- Crumble the goat cheese.
- Tear the ham into ribbons.
- Roughly chop the walnuts.
- Brush the bread with a little olive oil and sear in a griddle pan to get a little colour.
- Remove the pickles from the bowl and discard the pickling liquid.
- Dress the arugula with a little of the dressing, arrange on the plate with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle over more dressing.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 690Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1804mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 16gProtein: 40g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.