3 ripe but firm peaches
200g feta cheese – crumbled
8 slices jamón serrano or Iberico
Bunch of rocket
5/6 fresh mint leaves
Pinch of salt
Balsamic vinegar to finish
Begin by making the candied walnuts. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Toast the walnuts for approx 10 mins until they start to brown nicely. About halfway through, add the sugar and water to a pot and cook over a low/medium heat. You don’t want it to colour, just to melt evenly. Remove the walnuts from the oven and pour straight into sugar mixture. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula and continue to do so over a medium heat until the sugar starts to crystallize and form a candy coating on the outside of the nuts. It takes a few minutes of vigorous stirring to achieve this. When ready remove and pour onto a parchment lined tray. Sprinkle with a nice pinch of salt and allow to cool fully. This candying method is known as ‘dragee’ and can be used for most nuts.
For the peaches. Cut in half and carefully remove the stone. Cut into wedges. Heat a griddle pan and add a small amount of coconut oil or a flavourless oil. When the pan is quite hot, turn to a medium heat and add the peaches You want to achieve nice even grill marks but careful not to remove too early or too late. Check one by turning over, if it sticks to the pan it’s not yet ready, leave a few more seconds. Keep a careful watch. when ready, turn over and remove the pan from the heat. Leave about 2 mins before removing from the pan. These can be made up to an hour in advance.
To plate the dish place 2 slices of bunched up jamón on each plates. Add 3 or 4 slices of peach. A little handful of rocket in the middle with some torn mint leaves scattered throughout. Finish with a few of the candies walnuts, the crumbled feta cheese and a nice drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Chef: Aoiffe MacHale