The menu at Morrell Wine Bar & Café, near Rockefeller Center, one of Our Man Sietsema’s favorite places to get a glass of wine, has gotten a revamp, courtesy of a new chef. Jake Klein, who apprenticed under Masaharu Morimoto and held several positions at Myriad Restaurant Group, has introduced such seasonal dishes as the Thyme-Roasted Peach Salad. He shares the recipe here.
“I bought peaches at the market this week, without knowing how they were going to fit on the menu,” says Klein. “On the subway ride back to Morrell, I came up with the salad as a way of highlighting the sweet and tart qualities of the fruit. I like creating multiple layers of the same ingredients in my dishes. In this case, the slices of peach have a juicier, lush texture, and the dressing has more of that fruity acidity, achieving a balance that’s also refreshing.”
Thyme-Roasted Peach Salad
by Jake Klein, executive chef at Morrell Wine Bar & Café
4 ripe peaches, preferably local, halved and pitted
4 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon champagne or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grape seed or vegetable
1 tablespoon water
6-8 cups mesclun, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup roasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
In a nonreactive mixing bowl, gently toss peach halves with thyme and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Line the peaches on a baking sheet, cut side up, and place in the oven. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, roast the peaches for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they start to caramelize and brown. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
In a blender, puree half of the roasted peaches (4 pieces) with vinegar, grape-seed oil, and water, until smooth. The texture should be that of reduced heavy cream. If it’s a little thick, add a bit more water. Season with salt, to taste.
Peel and slice the remaining peach halves and toss with mixed greens, and the roasted peach dressing, reserving 2 or 3 tablespoons for garnish. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates, and spoon half of the reserved dressing along the edge of the plate. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve immediately, with a slice of Pierre Robert Triple Crème (or another creamy cheese, like Brie) on the side.