HomeRecipesTomato and Peach Salad With Shishito Peppers, Fresh Ricotta and Creamy Dill Dressing

Tomato and Peach Salad With Shishito Peppers, Fresh Ricotta and Creamy Dill Dressing

Chef Tom Gray brings flavors from all over the United States to his locally owned restaurant Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails in Jacksonville, Florida. Inspired by his Southern background, broad travels and experiences in kitchens across the country, the two-time James Beard-nominated chef opened Moxie in 2013 to showcase his personal take on contemporary American food influenced by his Southern upbringing.

Gray will join more than 50 other chefs and mixologists in Atlanta, bringing their best tomato-inspired cuisine for Chef Ford Fry’s seventh-annual JCT Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival July 19.

12 Shishito peppers
Extra-virgin olive oil for sauteing
4 ripe tomatoes, garden or heirloom
2 ripe peaches (or nectarines)
1 sprig each of fresh basil, dill and tarragon, torn into bite-sized pieces, for garnish
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese (see recipe below)
1/4 cup Creamy Dill Dressing (see recipe below)

Fresh Ricotta Cheese:

1 qt. whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly gound white pepper to taste

Combine milk, cream, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a medium pot over moderate heat. Bring up just to a boil, stirring often allowing your spoon scrape the bottom of the pot to avoid scorching. As soon as you see movement to indicate the milk is about to boil, turn off heat and pour in buttermilk and vinegar. Stir once or twice then stop to allow curds to form. After it is set, use a slotted spoon to skim the cheese into a cheese cloth-lined strainer. Fold in lemon zest and olive oil. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Dill Dressing

1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise (such as Duke’s)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Place cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium speed until softened. Scape down with a spatula and add mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Stir in fresh herbs by hand. Refrigerate until ready to use.


To make the salad, toss peppers lightly in olive oil. Saute until lightly blistered and softened, about 3-5 minutes. Hold at room temperature. When ready to serve, remove the cores of the tomatoes and cut into half-inch thick slices.  Arrange on a platter in a random pattern. Lightly season tomatoes with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Thinly slice the peaches on a mandolin and arrange over the tomatoes. Top with dollops of fresh ricotta and sprinkle with Shishito peppers and fresh herbs.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Tom Gray. 

Patti Callahan Henry
The Lesson of the Fi