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Grilled Peach Salad

Presenting one of my top-requested summer salads. I am always amazed at how grilling intensifies the flavor of the peaches and adds caramelized sweetness. It’s better to use firmer seasonal peaches or substitute nectarines over too-soft ripe fruit for this recipe. Great to take to barbecues, it embodies the light taste of late spring/early summer, and you won’t have to worry about taking any leftovers home. – Darlene Schrijver 

START OUT

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) Quick Pickled Onions
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) Honey- Roasted Sliced Almonds
  • 5 firm peaches (freestone if you can find them), halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) granulated sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon

WHISK

  • 3⁄4 cup (175 ml) coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano (use a Microplane)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh orange juice (remember to zest first)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) lightly packed grated orange zest
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

TOSS

  • 4 cups (950 ml) lightly packed spring mix (baby lettuce blend)
  • 4 cups (950 ml) lightly packed arugula
  • 1 cup (240 ml) blueberries
  • 1 cup (240 ml) mini or small mozzarella balls, halved
  • 4 ounces (115 g) chopped prosciutto (2-inch/5-cm squares; optional)

START OUT:

Prepare the pickled onions 30 minutes or up to 1 day in advance. Prepare the almonds if necessary. Preheat the grill to medium heat or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, oil, granulated sea salt, and cinnamon and toss until the peaches are coated. Place the peaches cut side down on the grill and cook, undisturbed, until grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and grill until the skin begins to char and the peaches soften a little, another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Cut each half into 4 wedges.

WHISK:

In a food processor, blender, or large beaker (if using an immersion blender), combine the basil, oil, cheese, vinegar, orange juice, honey, mustard, and zest and season with flaky sea salt and pepper. Blend until emulsified and well combined, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

TOSS:

In a large salad bowl, add the spring mix, arugula, blueberries, mozzarella, pickled onions, almonds, and peaches and drizzle with dressing to taste. Toss until all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated with dressing. If using, the prosciutto is very sticky, so lay it on top after tossing (otherwise it will all stick together in a big clump) and serve.

ENJOY:

I’m having it with petite sirah or lemonade.

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