Palisade Peach Salad with Crispy Prosciutto-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls and Hazelnut-Mint Vinaigrette


½ cup hazelnut-mint vinaigrette
(See accompanying recipe.)
4 Palisade peaches, pitted, skins removed, each peach cut into 4 wedges
Goat cheese balls
(See accompanying recipe.)
2 tablespoons High Country Orchards Rainier cherries, pitted and halved, for garnish
1 cup watercress
(just the leafy tops), for garnish

For the hazelnut-mint vinaigrette:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, freshly chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup hazelnut oil
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

For the goat cheese balls:
¼ cup Haystack Mountain Herbes de Provence Chèvre
2 tablespoons cherry jam
2 ounces shaved prosciutto, fried until crisp and then crumbled into crumbs suitable for crusting


Serves 4

To prepare the hazelnut-mint vinaigrette:

Combine the mint, shallots, garlic, honey, salt and oils in a blender. Blend together until the mint is nicely chopped. Pour into a container and add the vinegar and chopped hazelnuts. Allow the flavors to infuse at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or store overnight in a refrigerator.

To prepare the goat cheese balls:

Roll a tablespoon of goat cheese into a ball. Continue with this until all the goat cheese is used. Heat the cherry jam with a tablespoon of water until just melted. Pour over the goat cheese balls. Roll the balls around until completely covered with the jam. Then roll the balls in the prosciutto crumbs. They should be well crusted.

To serve:

Divide the vinaigrette among 4 plates. It should thinly cover the bottom of each plate and should be a nice bright green color. Place 4 peach wedges on each plate. Make sure there is space in between the wedges. Place a goat cheese ball in between each peach wedge. Garnish with cherries and watercress. The end result should be a colorful plate of green, orangey pink and red.