Exploiting the best of the season is paramount for the Market Restaurant in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The coastal restaurant is open only from mid-May through September, so co-chefs and partners Nico Monday and Amelia O’Reilly have a fleeting few months to leave their mark. When juicy peaches flood the kitchen, the chefs use them to their fullest, churning them into peach ice cream, caramelizing them for an upside-down cake or, as in the recipe here, pairing roasted halves with spicy arugula and crispy-fried pancetta for an inspired summer salad finished with a drizzle of brilliant-green sage oil.
Roasted Peaches with Pancetta, Arugula and Sage
Recipe adapted from Nico Monday and Amelia O'Reilly, Market Restaurant, Gloucester, MA
Yield: Serves 4
Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 medium ripe peaches, halved and pitted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the peaches
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
6 thin slices pancetta, finely chopped
4 fresh sage leaves
Fleur de sel
2½ cups arugula
1. Position a rack in the top-middle position of the oven and preheat it to 400°. Place the peach halves on a baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast the peaches until they are soft but still hold their shape, about 8 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook until the peaches are browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, add the shallot and cover with the Champagne vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. While the shallots macerate in the vinegar, set a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat; heat until hot, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes, then transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Drain the pan drippings and set aside.
4. To the shallots, add ¼ cup of the olive oil and whisk to combine. Whisk in half of the reserved pancetta drippings (save or discard the rest), season with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. Using a blender or food processor, purée the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil with the sage leaves and a pinch of fleur de sel.
6. To serve, place two peach halves on a plate and sprinkle pancetta over each peach. Toss the arugula with the shallot-pancetta vinaigrette and add a handful of arugula to each plate. Drizzle with the sage oil and serve immediately.