In Mexico, unripe mangoes and papayas are commonly sliced and sprinkled with lime juice and chile salt and sold as street snacks. In Atlanta, chef Eddie Hernandez, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, and co-owner of Taqueria del Sol restaurants, finds that this technique works equally well with rock-hard peaches that are crisp, tart, and full of flavor but still days away from reaching peak ripeness.
In the cookbook, I co-wrote with him, “Turnip Greens and Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018),
Hernandez uses it to breathe new life into a ubiquitous all-American diet fare combo of yesteryear: peaches and cottage cheese. The acid and salt in the dressing help soften the firm fruit slices, while the bits of fresh chile add an unexpected zing to those creamy curds.
Low in calories and high in protein and other nutrients, cottage cheese has gained new respect in recent years, particularly among the fitness crowd, and once you give this salad a try, you may wonder why it ever fell out of fashion. Serves 2. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett
- ¼ cup avocado or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 minced serrano chile (seeds removed for less heat)
- 2 medium unripe peaches, thinly sliced
- Soft lettuce leaves, such as butter lettuce or little gem
- 1 cup cottage cheese, preferably whole milk (or other soft, fresh cheese such as ricotta)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the minced chile.
- Add the peach slices, stir, and cover and chill for 10 minutes or several hours before serving.
- Place a few lettuce leaves on each of two plates and top with the peaches, along with a scoop of cottage cheese.
- Drizzle with a little more of the dressing, sprinkle with more of the minced chile, and season to taste with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.