Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas w/ Sea Salt


"Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds." (Regina Brett) With an extended heat wave continuing here in the midwest, I have given myself permission to have moments of laziness. Rather than take on the making of an ambitious recipe or turning on the oven to bake a pie (because it's pie week in the foodblog world) or a cake (because it's birthday week in my world), I am instead taking the time to actually read and not skim through some of the cookbooks bought in recent months. Which not so unpredictably has caused my heart to race and brain go into overload. With a pretty high degree of confidence, I don't think this is what laziness is supposed to feel like. Trying to refrain from turning on the oven feels more like a punishment than a welcome, if only a short-lived, reprieve. Because after all, what would a birthday be without a homemade cake?


Earlier last week I dipped some slices of banana in dark chocolate, sprinkled them with flaky sea salt and then put them in the freezer. Many have claimed a frozen banana very closely resembles ice cream. Epicurious ranked them first on their list of the eleven foods that taste amazing frozen. While we can't believe everything we read on the internet or in the opinions of foodbloggers, this would be one of those times when fact and opinion were in complete sync with one another. Taking somewhat of a slight departure here, my dissertation advisor and friend recently posted the article "No It's Not Your Opinion, You're Just Wrong". Regardless of the arena you work in, but especially if you work in higher education, you might enjoy this quick read. You might even make it required reading.


Okay, back to the chocolate covered bananas. As much as I loved these 'little' bites, warm hands, hot weather, and chocolate don't play nice with each other. So I wanted to try putting the bananas on a popsicle stick. Of course, I didn't want to use the 'normal', long, slender popsicle sticks, I wanted those shorter, shapely, 'bowtie' ones. Nor did I want to cut the bananas in half widthwise and insert the stick in the cut end of the banana, because I wanted them to be a little more like a three-bite healthy, slightly indulgent snack versus one bordering on the 'healthier than ice cream' meal size. In the spirit of full disclosure, I probably made it a little harder on myself, but I absolutely loved how they turned out. 


These can be either a three ingredient or a four ingredient Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas w/ Sea Salt treat. Having recently read somewhere (and now I cannot find the resource to give credit where credit should be given), adding a small amount of white chocolate to dark and/or semi-sweet chocolate creates a creamier, glossier finish to the set chocolate. However, if you have had great success tempering dark and/or semi-sweet chocolate without the use of white chocolate, then making these bananas becomes a three ingredient endeavor.


Your choice of bananas matters significantly. Like Goldilocks search for the perfect bed to sleep in, don't choose a banana that is too hard (or underripe) and don't choose one that is too soft (or overripe, banana bread making perfect). Choose bananas that are 'just right', somewhere between too hard and too soft. I understand this may not be precise enough for those of you who have never made chocolate covered frozen bananas before. So my best guidance on 'just right' is simply 'almost ripe but still firm' and with the peels being mostly yellow but still having a tinge of green. I know this still may not be precise enough. If anyone out there has a better description of 'just right' bananas for dipping and freezing, please enlighten all of us and share!


Cutting bananas on the diagonal, in approximately 2 1/2-3" lengths and with a thickness of approximately 3/4", made it possible to successfully insert the bowtie popsicle sticks through the center or side of the banana. In choosing to insert the popsicle stick in two different places, the finished bananas looked more whimsical than uniform. In my world, whimsy is a good thing. Once the sticks are inserted into the bananas, place on a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet and put in the freezer. The tray of bananas should be uncovered and remain in the freezer for at least two hours.


Within five minutes, the frozen bananas will begin to thaw when removed from the freezer. So when dipping them into the chocolate work in batches. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. 

After dipping all of the bananas, drizzle some of the remaining chocolate over the dipped bananas and immediately sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt. Return the bananas to the freezer until they are fully set (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from the baking sheet and place in a tightly sealed freezer safe container or in freezer plastic storage bags. You can also wrap them in cellophane and tie off with a ribbon or string.

If you like your frozen chocolate covered bananas firm when you bite into them, serve them right out of the freezer. If you like them to be a little on creamy side, allow them to sit out for 5 minutes before serving. Either way you serve them, they are incredibly delicious. Perfect to satisfy a sweet tooth craving for 'ice cream' on a hot summer day. They definitely fall into the category of a guilt-free pleasure.

If the summer heat is just too much and you can't bring yourself to turn on the oven to make a homemade birthday cake, at least make something chocolate, something that tastes like ice cream. Because a birthday without cake is one thing, but a birthday without both cake and ice cream is a whole different story. These homemade Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas w/ Sea Salt for the ice cream part of the birthday celebration should be more than enough to salvage the day. 
Recipe
Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Ingredients
4-5 large bananas, almost ripened but still firm, cut on the diagonal in 3/4" widths (if inserting popsicle sticks) or cut into 1/2" widths (if dipping only)
1 pound dark or semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped
Flaky Sea Salt for finishing
Alternate and probably easier way to cut bananas: Using 6-7 medium bananas, cut the bananas in half, widthwise, and insert the popsicle stick through the cut end of each half. 

Directions
1. Line two baking sheets with either parchment paper or foil. 
2. Place cut bananas (either with or without a popsicle stick inserted in) on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place in freezer, uncovered, for at least two hours.
3. Melt dark or semi-sweet chocolate in either the microwave or over a double boiler. Note: Add chopped white chocolate to melted dark or semi-sweet chocolate to temper the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
4. Working in batches, dip bananas one at a time into the melted chocolate and place on the second prepared baking sheet.
5. Drizzle remaining chocolate over dipped bananas and sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt.
6. Return dipped bananas to the freezer. When completely set (approximately 20 minutes) place frozen bananas in a sealed container or in freezer ziplock bags.
7. Enjoy directly out of the freezer or set out for at least five minutes before serving.


Farmer's Market Cinnamon Cake Donuts and Pretzels. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)


By most definitions, my life growing up in the midwest might be considered a safe, sheltered one. Whether this was due to the town I lived in or the time period I grew up in or some combination of both, I have not yet been able to commit to a definitive answer to my working theories. The first glimpse into the new and different windows of the world, so to speak, occurred on the first day of my freshman year in college. While my would-be alma mater was only a hundred and thirty miles from my hometown, it felt more like I had taken a transcontinental journey to get there. Only instead of ending up at the edge of the ocean, I would end up spending the next five years of my life surrounded by cornfields. The frames of reference I had grown up with were suddenly being challenged and expanded. And that was even before my first official day of class. While there were so many different and significant experiences and individuals influencing my thinking back then, the one giving me yet another glimpse into the world and maybe into my soul came from living with one of my sorority sisters during my senior year. She was what I would call a voracious reader. I would have been at that time someone who read because they had to. As I watched her as she read (it seemed like she always had a book with her) and listened to her talk about the books she was reading, I realized there was another way to experience the world, gain perspective, become more empathic, make connections, and strengthen my vocabulary (if I had only met her four years earlier maybe my rhetoric grade wouldn't have brought down my GPA). Books, I came to discover, could take your mind, heart, and soul to all sorts of places, regardless of the place or time one lived in. And from that moment on, I knew books would always be a constant, significant part of and influencer in my life. Anna Quindlen captured it best when she wrote "Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."

While I sometimes think myself as a little more worldly when it comes to food, I get the 'you are not quite as worldly as you think' reality check every now and then. Up until this past weekend my idea of eating grilled corn was lathering it with butter and sprinkling it with salt. But then I had my first taste of Elotes Callejeros otherwise known as Grilled Mexican Street Corn. Momentary speechlessness was followed by a close imitation of the restaurant scene in 'When Harry Met Sally'. My grilled corn world was never going to be the same again.


Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn) is salty, sweet, creamy, nutty, smokey, and savory with a bit of tartness. As brazen as this may sound, let me put myself out there and say it should be the only way grilled corn should be made. While I have no plausible explanation as to how it was possible this deeply flavored, charred corn never before made an appearance in my life, I offer no apologies for making what may sound like an audacious grilled corn making claim to some of you. None whatsoever. Seriously, this corn is that good. And honestly, after you taste grilled corn made this way, you will realize I really wasn't taking any risks with my opinion here at all.


This recipe is an amalgamation of the dozens of recipes I came across in cookbooks and online when researching Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn). All of the recipes had lime juice, either queso fresco or cotija cheese, and some kind of 'hot' spice listed in their ingredients. Melted butter, mayonnaise, Mexican Crema, sour cream, or a mixture of them made up the base of the creamy sauce. Garlic, salt, and/or cilantro appeared in some of the variations.

This version uses both mayonnaise and Mexican Crema, minced garlic, kosher salt, cayenne pepper and a Mexican Spice Blend from Morton and Bassett. I chose the spice blend because it was made up of cumin, garlic, paprika, white pepper, thyme and onion allowing me to control the heat by supplementing with cayenne pepper. As for the cheeses, I thought using both the fresh queso fresco and aged cotija would add the right amount of creaminess to the texture and nuttiness to the flavor of the elotes. Rather than putting lime juice in the sauce, I reserved it to squeeze over the grilled corn. 


Most varieties of yellow corn and bi-color corn tend to be on the sweet side. Based on years living in corn country, my personal preference is bi-color corn. Yellow in color corn tends to have larger, fuller flavored kernels (as compared to white corn). While there are are varieties of white corn sweeter in flavor than yellow corn, their kernels tend to be smaller. Large kernels seem to work better for this grilled corn recipe. 

It is essential the corn in its husk be soaked in water for at least 45-60 minutes before being placed on the grill the first time. Technically the corn gets grilled twice, but I am getting ahead of myself. Water soaked husks are less likely to catch on fire when placed on the grill. 


The water soaked corn is placed on a medium-high grill for 15-20 minutes. While grilling, rotate all sides of the corn to ensure they are evenly exposed to the heat. Some charring will occur in the first grilling. When the grilled corn is easy to handle (approximately 5-10 minutes of wait time), the husks are pulled back and the silk is removed. You can completely remove the husk along with the silk, but in doing so you will have less of a 'handle' to the corn.


The prepared 'sauce' is brushed on each piece of the shucked, grilled corn and then returned to the grill a second time. This return to the grill allows the sauce to begin to flavor the kernels while giving the kernels another chance to become slightly more charred.


This second grilling takes less than 5 minutes and requires you carefully watch and rotate.


Lime juice is squeezed over the corn before the sauce is brushed on for a second time. The second application of the sauce not only deepens the flavor of the corn but becomes the adhesive for the grated queso fresco and cotija cheeses.


The Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn) would pair well with grilled steaks or grilled chicken, Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw, or enchiladas. With some ice cold beer, it can become a meal. Plan on making more than one ear of this corn when serving. Two ears might be too much for some, but one and a half, well that should be just about right.


If you happen upon a Farmer's Market in the week or weeks ahead, pick up some freshly picked corn. Because if there is only one new recipe you make off of the blog this month, make this one. If by any chance you have never before had Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn), it would make me incredibly happy to be the one opening up the window to this incredibly delicious, decadent grilled corn world for you. Because in one taste, similar to the experience of reading a great book, this way of grilling and serving corn will take you to either new or familiar places. Buen apetito!

Recipe
Elotes Callejeros (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Ingredients
6-8 ears of corn, in the husk (bi-color corn if it is available, if not a sweet yellow corn)
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Mexican Crema or Mexican Style Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Mexican Blend Spice (recommend Morton and Bassett brand)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you don't like any heat at all)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated queso fresco
1/2 cup freshly grated cotija cheese
2 limes

Directions
1. Soak corn in their husk in a deep pan of water or clean sink for approximately 45-60 minutes. Weight corn down with a pan or heavy plate so it is completely submerged. Note: It is important for the husks to have time to absorb the water as this will prevent them for catching on fire on the grill. 
2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Mexican Crema, Mexican Blend Spice, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and minced garlic. Set aside.
3. Mix grated queso fresco and cotija cheese together in a medium-sized rectangular or oval bowl. Set aside.
4. Remove corn from water and place on grill set to medium-high heat. Grill for approximately 15-20 minutes, turning until all sides have had the chance to begin to cook. Remove from grill.
5. When cool enough to handle, pull down silk and husks (remove silk but keep husks to use as a handle). Or remove both silk and husks.
6. Lightly brush corn with the mayonnaise/creme/spice mixture and grill until the corn begins to char/brown (approximately 2-3 minutes). Remove from grill. Note: Watch the corn carefully, turning at least once to prevent burning.
7. Squeeze lime juice over grilled corn. Using a pastry brush corn again with mayonnaise/creme/spice mixture. Roll in or sprinkle grated cheeses evenly over corn. Serve immediately.

Additional notes: (1) Can use sour cream in place of the Mexican Crema and/or Mexican Style Sour Cream, (2) Can use only grated queso fresco or grated cotija cheese rather than a mixture of the two, and (3) If bi-color corn is not available, choose a large kernel sweet corn.



Lego Sculptures at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tara's Chocolate Chip Cookies


Seemingly in an attempt to simplify the world and eliminate all shades of gray, we have been grouped into or defined by a myriad of classifications. Very few of us left high school without being willingly or unwillingly bound to one group or another. Almost daily there is some unscientific, yet ridiculously entertaining BuzzFeed survey feeding into our underlying need to feel connected to a group, regardless of how fiercely independent, unique, or different we believe ourselves to be. I can't help but wonder if we secretly wish these surveys would tell us something different, validate what we already know, or prove to some of the people in our lives they just don't really know us. It's okay if you don't want to admit being lulled into taking at least one of these surveys for any, some, or all of the aforementioned reasons. For those of you who have not yet been tempted, what are you afraid of? That the survey results will get hacked and everyone will discover your personal theme song, what country music cliche you exemplify, or which 80s movie girl you are? Spoiler alert: Everyone already knows. 

Regardless of our chosen profession, there are yet another set of groups to belong to, to define us. The Innovators, the Early Adopters, the Second Wave Followers, and the Laggards. The smallest of these groups are the innovators, the risk-takers, the ones quick to adopt new and innovative approaches or strategies. The Early Adopters, perennially young and restless are the ones paying attention to the discoveries and lessons learned by the innovators. The Second Wave Followers, skeptics who prefer to take the wait and see if this too shall pass approach before finally caving. And then there are Laggards, the traditionalists, content with the way things are, the last to change. In the food world, I find myself in awe of some of the innovators and going in and out of all of the other groups. Yes, even the laggards. In the spirit of self-disclosure and the risk of skewing to TMI, I must confess to being in a state of kicking and screaming over kale, adding sriracha sauce to almost everything, or topping my favorite foods with kimchi. 


However, I am happy to announce I have joined the group of early adopters of innovator foodblogger Tara O'Brady's chocolate chip cookie recipe. As loyal to and enamored as I have been with the Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie recipe, I am now completely smitten with Tara's as close to chocolate chip cookie perfection as is possible recipe. They are the complete package. Beautiful, crispy around the edges, chewy in the center, chocolatey, addictive, incredibly easy to make. There is nothing high-maintenance about these cookies, yet you might think only high end kitchen tools and ovens could create such chocolate chip cookie perfection. 

Who knew that all it took was a large bowl, a whisk and a wooden spoon. Well Tara knew.


Chopping the chocolate might be the most time-consuming part of the recipe. If you have yet to give up using chocolate chips for your chocolate chip cookies, you should know chopped chocolate is not a passing, this too shall pass trend. There are not enough adjectives to describe the taste and texture Trader Joe's Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bars bring to this cookie. I would put it in a throwdown against any of the high-end, pricey dark chocolate bars out there.

After reading the advice of other foodbloggers, I decided to wait to bake the cookies until they had a chance to chill in the refrigerator overnight. Forming the dough into balls, placing them on a parchment paper lined tray, and lightly covering them with a plastic wrap before chilling, makes baking the cookies feel effortless.

Approximately three tablespoons of dough goes into making the cookies. To ensure as uniform of a cookie as possible, I used an almost three tablespoon ice cream scoop and then rolled the dough into balls. However, you don't even need an ice cream scoop to make these cookies. 


A light sprinkling of flaky sea salt is the finishing touch.


The cookies spread when they bake. Allow for at least 3 inches of space between each of the balls of dough.


The cookies are baked in a preheated 360 (F) degree oven. Yes, 360 (not 350, not 375). My oven doesn't have a digital temperature setting, so I set it a smidge over 350 degrees. This lack of oven temperature precision may have been responsible for increasing my baking time by a couple of minutes. Before placing the cookies on a cooking rack, they remain on the cookie tray for two minutes.


One taste of Tara's Chocolate Chip Cookies and you won't be able to resist giving up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Unless of course, you take great pride being set in your ways or in belonging to the group known as the chocolate chip cookie laggards. If it has been awhile since you felt real bliss, make these cookies. Because cookie bliss is better than no bliss at all. And feel free to call them your own. 

Recipe
Tara's Chocolate Chip Cookies (inspired by Seven Spoons blogger Tara O'Brady's Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe)
Makes 28-30 large cookies

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, cut up into pieces
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (recommend Trader Joe's Pound Plus Dark Chocolate)
Flaky sea salt for finishing

Directions
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter on lowest heat possible to ensure the butter does not sizzle or lose any of its' moisture. Stir occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, pour in melted butter. Add brown sugars and granulated sugar, whisking until sugar has melted. 
4. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition.
5. Stir in vanilla.
6. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir in flour mixture until barely blended and still a bit floury.
7. Stir in chopped chocolate until all ingredients are combined.
8. Using a large ice cream scooper (large golf ball sized), scoop dough and then roll into balls. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Leave at least 3 inches between the cookies. Note: The dough balls can be refrigerated overnight on a lightly covered tray.)
9. Before baking sprinkle each cookie with a bit of flaky sea salt.
10. In a preheated 360 degree (F) oven, bake cookies until the tops are cracked and lightly golden rotating pan halfway through the baking process. Baking time is approximately 10-12 minutes, however, mine ranged from 13-14 minutes. This could be due in part to not having a digital oven. Recommend checking at 10 minutes and making any time adjustments as necessary.
11. Allow cookies to cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
12. Enjoy immediately! Store cookies in a sealed container.

Additional notes: Chilling the balls of dough overnight is a game-changer. When baking each sheet of cookies (about 8-9 will fit on a sheet pan), keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator. If you are not a big fan of dark brown sugar, use all light brown sugar. Tara's original recipe called for the use of light brown sugar only.

The windmill in the Children's Garden at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad


Revealing the menu to guests can be a double edged sword. Sharing all or parts of the menu can sometimes elicit a kind of pre-dinner excitement similar to and often associated with the opening a much anticipated gift. However, it becomes particularly dicey when due to time, available ingredients, or unanticipated disasters, the shared menu undergoes a significant post-disclosure change. The unintentional 'bait and switch' can elicit a multitude of reactions. 'What do you mean we aren't having the....? 'You are kidding, right?' 'I was so looking forward to eating your...' After everyone has had time to process the menu change you hope at least one person will ultimately vindicate you and say something like 'I am sure whatever you made will be delicious.' While I can be a little cagey on what the exact menu will be (to ensure there is no disappointment), I have also been known to be much too forthcoming (leaving no element of surprise). This past weekend I had skewed to full disclosure and then made a significant change to the main course after waking up to find my usual over achiever self was no where in sight. 


I was hoping, the fingers and toes kind of hoping, the smoked salmon spread, the grilled peach and burrata salad, and blueberry crisp with vanilla ice cream would be more than enough to compensate for replacing the much anticipated Lobster Cobb Salad with pizza. And we aren't talking homemade pizza here.


The Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad would be a 'first' time served dish. Considering all of its' elements I was more than confident it would get rave reviews. Even from those who claim they aren't necessary big fans of the peach.


If you have never tasted the super creamy, buttery richness of burrata, a mixture of mozzarella and cream rolled into a ball, you absolutely must experience its' utter deliciousness. Sooner rather than later as nothing else compares to its' taste, flavor or texture. My first instant nirvana bite of burrata was at A Mano, a now unfortunately closed Italian restaurant in New Orleans. Served over a platter of caponata, everyone at the table was politely and not so politely fighting to get ever last bit of it onto their plates. With this fresh Italian cheese becoming more readily available in grocery stores, you and I now have the same access to this luxurious handcrafted cheese as restaurant chefs.


There may be no better way to celebrate the arrival of the peach season than this Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad.


What roasting does to bring out the sweetness and slightly alter, in the best of ways, the flavor of vegetables, grilling does the same thing for fruit. Especially peaches. Find large, almost ripe, but not too soft yellow flesh peaches for this salad. If too ripe, they will be difficult to quarter as well as disintegrate when grilled. Using extra-virgin olive oil to season the grill pan, the peach quarters are cooked for approximately 1-2 minutes on each exposed flesh side of the peach. Using the thinest spatula you have, the grilled peaches are carefully removed ensuring the charred grill marks remain. 


Most of the dressings for grilled peach and burrata salads call for the use of balsamic vinegar (the red stuff). But having recently used the white balsamic vinegar in the dressing for the Orecchiette Caprese Salad, I thought it would compliment the fruit perfectly. If everyone taking two helpings of this salad was any indication, I would have to say the white balsamic vinegar was a great choice.


There will be enough dressing to lightly dress the greens, drizzle over the peaches and burrata cheese, and serve on the side. Because my grocery store was out of baby arugula (my first greens choice for this salad), I used a spring greens mix. Baby spinach, baby romaine or any mixture of tender greens would work.

Over a platter lined with the lightly dressed greens, the grilled peaches and torn pieces of the burrata are arranged. Drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the peaches and burrata, lightly season with flaky sea salt and black pepper and your salad is done. If there was ever a case to be made for the virtues of simplicity the Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad would be a perfect exemplar.


In the event you commit the almost unforgivable crime of a changing out the menu you foolishly revealed in the first place, this Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad will give you more than a pass. It did for me. Although at some point in the near future I need to make the Lobster Cobb Salad. For the simple reasons I like to keep my promises and don't think you should keep anyone, especially people you call your friends, waiting indefinitely.

If in the week ahead you are planning a brunch or a dinner, make this salad. If in the week ahead you weren't planning a brunch or dinner, change your plans and make this salad. Peach season won't be here forever. And I guarantee, you will want to make this salad more than once before it ends. I think I just discovered my summer signature salad.

Recipe
Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

Ingredients
Dressing
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (recommend Maille)
Flaked sea salt and black pepper

Grilled Peaches and Salad
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large yellow-flesh peaches, near ripeness but not too soft, quartered and stoned
8 ounce ball of burrata (or two 4 1/2 ounce balls), drained and torn into chunks
3 cups spring greens, arugula or baby romaine 
Flaked sea salt and black pepper

Directions
Dressing
1. Lightly whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and mustard. Season with flaky sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Grilled Peaches and Salad Assembly
1. Lightly grease a griddle pan with 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Turn heat to high to get pan evenly hot.
2. Place peach quarters cut-side down and cook for 1-2 minutes per exposed side (Note: Do not cook on skin side.) 
3. Gently life up with a thin spatula so as not to leave charred grilled marks on pan and place on a dish. (Note: Charring adds to the flavor.)
4. In a large bowl, very lightly dress the greens using almost half of the dressing. Be careful to not over dress the greens.
5. Distribute greens on a large platter.
6. Arrange grilled peaches and pieces of burrata on top of the greens.
7. Lightly drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the peaches and burrata. Lightly season with flaky sea salt and pepper.
8. Serve immediately. Serve any remaining dressing on the side.