The glorious thing about summer produce—besides the fact that it tastes so damn good—is that it hardly needs adornment. Fresh and gently cooked fruits and vegetables are perfect without fanfare, especially in simple summer salads. Even some picky eaters agree.
It’s in this time, too short lived in many parts of the country, that we need to take advantage of the no-cook meals and quick preparation that summer produce allows. It saves time and also yields the most delicious rewards. This Peach, Tomato, and Beet Salad recipe is a favorite in my house and just perfect for the season.
Once your beets are cooked, this salad comes together in all of 5 minutes since the only dressing it needs is salt, great olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. You don’t even need to mix the three ahead of time, rather drizzle each over the top. If you’re fancy, use crunchy Maldon sea salt flakes (8.5-ounce box, $6.70, affiliate Amazon) which will give this salad some texture. You can also crumble some feta over the top for a creamy, salty touch.
However you dress this up or down, the combination of sweet peaches, bright tomatoes, and earthy beets is delicious together, which is how I eat this. The picky one, though, not so much; which is why another thing I love about this recipe is that it can be easily deconstructed to suit different tastes.
My big one loves peaches and tomatoes, but not so much beets—so that’s what he gets. The little one loves beets, but thinks it’s weird to pair them with peaches—so he eats the beets and tomatoes separately and has a whole peach for dessert.
And if your kid will only eat plain sliced peaches no dressing and without either of the vegetables—well, there are worse things. It’s summer after all and peaches for dinner are totally allowed.
Peach, Tomato and Beet Salad
6 small-medium beets
3 peaches, pitted and peeled
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, washed and cored
Olive oil, to taste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus more to taste
Fresh basil leaves, washed
1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut off stems and wrap each beet individually in foil (there’s no need to wash them).
2. Place wrapped beets on a rimmed baking sheet or pan and roast in oven until tender all the way through, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow beets to cool completely.
3. Unwrap the foil and, using your fingers or a small paring knife, peel the beets (the skin should slough right off). Cut cooled beets into 1/2″ slices and arrange on a platter.
4. In the meantime, cut peaches and tomatoes into 1/2″ slices. Arrange on the platter with beets. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and a hearty sprinkle of salt; taste and adjust any of the three. Scatter whole basil leaves on top.
Serve immediately or allow to chill in fridge before serving.