Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil — and homegrown peaches. Bliss.
When Anthony Belter was hired as the Quadrangle Club’s executive chef in 2013, the tiny kitchen garden in the back was full of tomato plants. “If you filled the entire garden with tomatoes,” he says, “we would run through them in two days.”
The following summer, in place of the tomatoes, he planted “things we could really stretch out”: thyme, rosemary, Thai chiles, lemongrass, and lemon balm, as well as edible flowers — nasturtiums, pansies, lavender — for garnishes. He kept the mint, basil, and rhubarb.
He also kept two peach and two cherry trees growing in a sheltered south-facing spot next to the building, where the red brick traps the warmth of the sun. Last summer when the peaches fruited, Belter made peach chutney, peach ice cream, and this simple summer salad.
Grilled peach caprese salad
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 large ripe yellow peach, sliced thick
- 1 large ripe heirloom tomato, sliced thick
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 10 leaves fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- Mix balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Place in refrigerator and let cool.
- Brush the sliced peach with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place peach slices on a grill for 2 minutes on each side.
- Season the sliced tomato with salt and pepper.
- Layer mozzarella cheese slices with peaches, tomatoes, and basil.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze.