Peach and Walnut Salad

With all these cookies our kitchen has been seeing recently, I thought I might try to balance things out a little bit by sharing this salad recipe. I know, I know… it’s not *quite* as exciting as candy-laden blobs of heaven…but I wouldn’t bother to share something as simple as a salad if it weren’t one heck of a delicious salad. Lucky for you, this one is! 🙂

I’d also like to share something that comes from another, older corner of my life: gaming. With the move, grad school, and general lifestyle upheavals I haven’t gamed much in the past year unless you count the occasional Machinarium replays or Plants vs. Zombies iPhone addiction I had last fall. In the past, though, I used to log hours on Day of Defeat and Counter Strike with my two younger brothers and even my dad. As an ex-marine and sharpshooter, my dad was actually hilarious to play with (think technophobe with military know-how). I’ve also played WoW on and off since 2007 and have dabbled in other RPGs, but the first-person shooters will always be in my top faves.

Why am I telling you this? Because as a female gamer who prefers “violent” games I’ve come across my fair share of trolls (to put it nicely)…but nothing like what some gals are putting up with these days. I just listened to an NPR broadcast dedicated to online harassment in games which, in turn, led me to discover the amazing blogs Fat, Ugly, or Slutty and Not in the Kitchen Anymore. I also learned about the sexual harassment of Miranda Pakozdi that was broadcast live in front of a world-wide audience. That’s right: broadcast live. For five days. The poor girl finally forfeited the competition just to escape the source of the harassment: her coach.

The silver lining to all this is that it’s starting to make the news and not just gamer mags. I mentioned the NPR program, but there has also been a BBC radio documentary, articles in the New York Times and Forbes, numerous other digital posts, and a cute but informative video by PAX TV’s Extra Credits. Hopefully with more and more people – women AND men – standing up for decent human behavior, trash talking will remain just that: harmless jabs about someone’s leet skillz (or lack thereof) instead of crossing the line into something disgusting, degrading, and completely unacceptable.

Peach and Walnut Salad (from Women’s Health July/August ’12 edition)

* serves 4 as a side or 2 for an entrée *

Ingredients:

3   ripe peaches, sliced into thin wedges

3   Cups arugula

4   oz.   fresh mozzarella, cut into 1″ cubes

2   T   chopped walnuts or pecans

3   T   EVOO

2   T   white wine vinegar

1   C   fresh basil

¼   t   salt

Procedure:

1) In a large bowl, toss together peaches, arugula, mozzarella, and nuts. Put oil, vinegar, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

2) Divide peach salad among serving plates and drizzle with basil oil dressing.

Beezer’s Notes:

I promise you, if you are attempting to have a salad instead of cookies this is the salad to have. You’ll enjoy sweet peaches, soft cheese, slightly bitter greens, and crunchy nuts – all drizzled with a zingy pesto-like dressing. This salad manages to be light and filling at the same time, perfect for summer. Plus, with enough of these you could maybe justify your next batch of cookies (or at least, that’s what I tell myself, haha).

Overall Enjoyment:  ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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