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[Photograph: Blake Royer]

While the summer months are over and fall is approaching, this is nonetheless one of the best times of year for cooking, in my opinion—not to mention eating outside. The weather is a tad cooler, but the produce is still excellent. It's a season for simple recipes that simply emphasize the quality of the ingredients at hand.

Why I Picked This Recipe: In that spirit, I selected this recipe from Tyler Florence, which relies on gorgeous, juicy peaches as a counterpoint to shaved fennel, peppery watercress, creamy mozzarella, and crisp slices of prosciutto.

What Worked: I'd never crisped prosciutto before—it seems in some ways like a crime to cook something that has aged gracefully for so long. And yet, I loved the result: 20 minutes in the oven produce crisp, porky shards that elevate this salad considerably.

What Didn't: When I dressed this salad according to the recipe, the mozarella was coated in balsamic and lost its gorgeous white color. So I ended up remaking it with new mozarella and simply nestling the curds amongst the other ingredients.

Suggested Tweaks: Watercress is a wonderful element in this salad, but fresh arugula would be equally good, and is probably easier to find.

Adapted from Tyler Florence.

About the author: Blake Royer has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. He is the Creative Director at Jamco Creative in Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter: @blakeroyer.

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