Fresh tomato + peach Caprese salad with wild blueberries & thyme

I‘ve been enjoying a tomato salad nearly every day this month; it’s effortless eating when the tomatoes are ripening on the vine in my backyard and the kitchen garden is packed with herbs two feet tall.

Often the tomatoes are paired with briny olives and salty feta in an easy Greek salad and other times I dice them up for a Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes. Another favourite – and real crowd pleaser – is my Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad, which combines tomatoes, celery and shrimp into a tangy dish perfect for quick Sunday lunch.

A recent creation that proved to be most delicious was the addition of sliced, fresh Niagara peaches to a Caprese salad. I served this riff on a classic at the start of the harvest dinner we hosted on the homestead a few weekends ago, and promised you the recipe. It’s a salad I serve at every harvest dinner, mostly because it is so delicious when prepared in season, but also because it is very easy.

A Caprese salad is such a simple dish: perfectly ripe tomatoes, good quality olive oil, fresh mozzarella and heaps of basil. If you’ve never made a Caprese before, then this article by J. Kenji Lopes-Alt over on Serious Eats is required reading. He makes a lot of great points. (Warning: language)

So, no, the Caprese doesn’t need to be improved upon, but I can’t help but embellish it a little with those seasonal fruits that are so gorgeous in August. Peaches and blueberries call to me from the market stands, and I love to bring them home and incorporate them into savoury dishes as well as desserts.

This salad, featuring sweet cherry tomatoes, ripe peaches and heaps of fresh, fragrant thyme, is one of those essential August eats. Feel free to customize it to your taste or to use what is going to seed in your garden. My basil is bolting for the sky, ready to be made into pesto – or another Caprese salad.

The food stylist in me almost didn’t share the photo above because it’s not quite perfect – the candle should be lit, the glasses filled to the brim with beer…But it does demonstrate the great do-ahead quality of this Caprese salad.

In fact, I recommend you make the dish a good twenty minutes in advance of dinner, then let it sit at room temperature to allow the flavours to mingle. And mingle they will. That will give you time to slice the bread, light the candles and pour drinks….Bon appetit!

Fresh tomato and peach Caprese salad with wild blueberries & thyme
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Serves/Yield: Serves 6
A simple and seasonal salad that can be made in advance and is easy to scale up for a crowd. Switch out the thyme for basil, if you like, and feel free to use any tomatoes you have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, packed, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pints (700g) cherry tomatoes of all colours
  • 2 medium peaches, firm ripe
  • 250 g fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella
  • a handful of wild blueberries (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small mortar and pestle, grind thyme and salt together until it is a dark green paste. Add garlic and pulverize again until smooth. Drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil and mix to combine. Finish the dressing by sprinkling with the black pepper.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Slice the peaches into 1/2 moon wedges. Toss both tomatoes and peaches with 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a medium bowl. Arrange the fruits on a large rimmed platter.
  3. Tear apart the fresh mozzarella into eight or ten pieces and arrange it on and around the tomatoes. Sprinkle a handful of wild blueberries over the top.
  4. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing and top with more fresh thyme leaves, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

All images by Tim Chin.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Jesse Dresbach says:

    The pictures alone have me ready to try this! Great recipe idea!

  2. Kristi Goldsberry says:

    I love how you tore the mozzarella!

  3. This looks yummy, but I am having lots of problems pinning? Is it me or did they change how we pin?

    If I don’t pin this recipe I will forget about 🙁 i really want to make it.

    🤔

  4. Holy cow that looks delicious!

  5. I just made this for dinner and it was fantastic! I used fresh local peaches and tomatoes and thyme from my garden. Thank you for sharing. I so enjoy your blog and your writing style.

  6. OMG! this looks heck a very delicious recipe! I am gonna make this, no doubt! Is there any alternative to sea salt?

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