Peaches, pecans and cucumbers are staples of a Peach State summer, especially in Middle Georgia, where Fort Valley and the surrounding area is home to three of the biggest peach growers distributing throughout the state. Many peach orchards also grow some of the best pecans in the country, a major agricultural export. Just about every Georgian can recall a pivotal juice-running-down-your-face peach-eating epiphany, and the best part is that they are not just good in cobbler, but salads too.
- 2 Large peaches, cut in wedges, skin on
- 1 Cup English cucumber, cut in wedges
- ½ Cup ricotta
- 2 Teaspoons honey
- ½ Teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Head butter or Bibb lettuce
- 1 Recipe Apple Cider Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- 1 Recipe Spiced Pecans
Lightly toss peaches and cucumbers with vinaigrette. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix ricotta with honey and lemon zest. Set aside.
Place a large dollop of ricotta mixture in the center of a large, flat serving dish. Use the back of a large spoon to spread toward the edges of the dish. Add more ricotta as needed. Arrange lettuce leaves on top, then spoon peach and cucumber mixture over. Sprinkle with spiced pecans and mint.
Apple Cider Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- 3 Tablespoons pepper jelly
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 Teaspoon fresh mint, finely minced, plus more for garnish
Whisk pepper jelly and vinegar together. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt & pepper then stir in mint.
- 2 Cups pecan halves
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- ¼ Teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spread pecan halves on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and spices.
Combine toasted pecan halves and melted butter. Sprinkle pecans evenly with spice mixture. Return pecans to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until pecans have a toasted, nutty flavor. Remove from oven and let cool. Chop pecans coarsely.