Chef Jake Wood
This salad combines a variety of local North Carolina produce, all at its seasonal peak. Peaches, nectarines, heirloom tomatoes and baby arugula create a colorful mix, with creamy ricotta adding a mellow contrast. Even the sea salt seasoning the salad is from nearby Wrightsville Beach, but any coarse sea salt can be substituted. For the dressing, chef Wood makes his own strawberry vinegar by smoking fresh strawberries and soaking them in champagne vinegar for 10 to 15 days, but bottled strawberry vinegar works, too.
1 fresh yellow peach
1 fresh nectarine
3-4 mixed heirloom tomatoes, such as Mr. Stripey, German Johnson, Tiger Blush and Sungold
7-10 baby arugula leaves
½ shishito pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 oz. strawberry vinegar
1 oz. black garlic oil
Pinch of peppercorn sea salt (or any sea salt mixed with coarsely ground black pepper)
¼ cup ricotta cheese
1. Slice fruit and tomatoes and place in medium bowl. Add arugula and shishito peppers; set aside.
2. Prepare black garlic oil: In blender container, combine a few black garlic cloves with salt and olive oil. Strain well. In jar, shake black garlic oil and vinegar to blend well.
3. To serve salad, toss tomato mixture with dressing. Spread ricotta cheese on plate and top with salad.
Photo courtesy of 18 Seaboard