Peaches ‘N Cream Panzanella Salad

When peaches are in season, I’m immediately transported back in time to my childhood visiting my grandparents who lived in the southern interior of British Columbia. A region with fruit orchards everywhere, my grandparents had cherry, plum, apricot, apple, pear and peach trees. The first explosive bite of a summer peach always resulted in the juices dripping down both arms. To this day, I refer to this as “elbow-dripping good.”
On a rainy visit to the farmer’s market this morning, I was approaching my favourite fruit vendor and saw the first peaches of the season. All I could say was “Peaches! Peaches! Peaches!” I was suddenly stricken with that same child-like joy I had when our family arrived at my grandparents place.
Earlier this morning, I went to my favourite German bakery, Artistic Bake Shop, where they make the best pretzel buns (and a lot of other wonderful baked goods, but their pretzel buns are superlative). When I got home, I was unloading my shopping cart and placed the peaches and pretzel buns next to each other. I mused for a moment and thought of the Italian bread salad, panzanella.
Normally, panzanella is a tomato and bread salad with a light dressing. I decided to try a grilled peach to boost the flavour and compliment the intense pretzel flavour.

Peaches ‘N Cream Panzanella Salad

2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced into 16 pieces (slightly underripe is best for this)
1 tsp cold pressed canola oil
1 pretzel bun, sliced like a small loaf of bread into 4 slices
1 tsp rhubarb juice (or lemon juice)
1/2 tsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp sour cream

Drizzle, the peach slices with oil and grill over medium high heat until golden on both sides (about 5-7 minutes total). Grill the pretzel bun slices alongside the peaches until golden. Allow to cool slightly.
Peel the skin from the grilled peaches and break them up into small chunks. Pull apart the toasted pretzel bun slices into rough pieces. Toss them in a medium bowl with the rhubarb juice and vinegar. Divide the salad over two plates and lightly drizzle the top with sour cream. Serves 2.

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