I've never liked cooking for myself. Cooking by myself, yes, but when it's time to eat I prefer the company of at least one other person. But working from home does mean that I have to cook for myself at least once a day. I want my lunch to be easy to make, not too heavy, and preferably "brunchy" - that's why I loved that poached egg bread salad that I made last week. Starting this blog has actually made me better at eating lunch and cooking something - pasta with sauce out of a can, or even worse, deep frozen pizza, isn't really anything to blog about.
Some people probably think I'm crazy for making "fancy" foods for myself in the middle of the day, but I find that I feel better about myself and my situation when I eat something that has got some care and effort in it. And making today's lunch didn't take much more time than it does to bool pasta and heat ready-made sauce. Taking photos of the dish for the blog also means that I get to eat something that not only tastes nice, but also looks (at least minimally) pretty.
I was in the mood for salad today; something sweet, light and sophisticated. And when I found a recipe for grilled peach salad with bresaola and a creamy dressing over at Jamie Oliver's site, I knew what I wanted. I kept my fingers crossed that our small neighbourhood store would have peaches or nectarines, or even plums, because that would work too. Of course they didn't, cause it isn't peach season, but I couldn't get the peach thing out of my mind (have I told you I love peaches? I do.). So I did something I very rarely do: I bought canned peaches. In light syrup. And while I grabbed that can, it suddenly dawned on me what I was going to make with it. It's inspired by Jamie's recipe, but nothing like it. It was however, very good. I should tell you though that it's not really a full lunch, more of a starter or a light bite. Adding salad and serving it with some bread would make it more substantial.
Chèvre gratinated peaches with serrano ham and basil
2 peach halves (if you have fresh one, congratualtions!)
2 thin slices of chèvre (goat cheese)
1 slice serrano ham (prosciutto would work too, or bresaola)
Slice a small part off the bottom the rounded part of the peach halves, that way they won't wobble around. Place a slice of chèvre on top of each peach. Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil on top, and finally take a couple of turns on the pepper mill. Place in the oven at 225°C for about 10 minutes, until the cheese have started to melt a little. Place the serrano ham on a plate, and put the peach halves on top. Decorate with some fresh basil. I also made a basil vinaigrette (you can kind of see it in the lower right hand corner of the photo) but it didn't turn out so good so I won't give you the recipe. But do make your own because it really complements the other flavours.