When summer is in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of the abundance of ripe, juicy peaches. One fantastic way to enjoy these seasonal delights is by incorporating them into a vibrant and refreshing salad.
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad combines the smoky sweetness of grilled peaches with the peppery bite of arugula, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors.
Before we begin, let’s gather all the ingredients you’ll need to create this delightful salad:
- Ripe peaches: Select peaches that are ripe but firm. The grilling process will enhance their natural sweetness and add a smoky flavor.
- Fresh arugula: This leafy green imparts a peppery and slightly bitter taste, balancing the sweetness of the peaches. Opt for young and tender arugula leaves for the best texture and flavor.
- Goat cheese: Creamy and tangy goat cheese provides a rich and luxurious element to the salad. Crumble it over the top for added creaminess and depth of flavor.
- Walnuts: Toasted walnuts add a delightful crunch and nuttiness to the salad. You can lightly toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat or in the oven for a few minutes.
- Red onion: Thinly sliced red onion brings a mild pungency to the salad and complements the other flavors beautifully.
- Balsamic glaze: Drizzle the salad with a balsamic glaze or reduction to add a touch of sweetness and tang. It elevates the flavor profile and adds a glossy finish.
Tips for Grilled Peach and Argulua Salad
To enhance your Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad, consider the following tips and serving suggestions:
- Enhance the smokiness: For an extra layer of smokiness, you can brush the peaches with a little honey or maple syrup before grilling them. This will caramelize the peaches and add a touch of sweetness.
- Explore additional toppings: Feel free to experiment with additional toppings to personalize your salad. Sliced strawberries, crumbled bacon, or even avocado slices can add interesting flavors and textures.
- Play with dressings: While the balsamic glaze is a classic choice, you can explore other dressings as well. A light lemon vinaigrette or a honey mustard dressing can beautifully complement the flavors of the salad.
- Incorporate protein: If you’re looking to make this salad a more substantial meal, consider adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. These protein options will add depth and satiety to the dish.
- Serve with crusty bread: To make it a complete summer meal, serve the Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with some crusty bread or grilled baguette slices. They can be used to scoop up the salad or enjoyed on the side.
- Pair with a refreshing beverage: Serve this salad alongside a chilled glass of white wine, iced tea, or a fruity mocktail to enhance the summery experience.
Storing and Enjoying Leftovers
If you have leftovers, it’s best to store the salad and the dressing separately to maintain freshness. Place the arugula, grilled peaches, red onions, and toasted walnuts in an airtight container and refrigerate. The goat cheese can either be stored separately or added to individual servings as needed.
The balsamic glaze should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve the leftover salad, drizzle the desired amount of glaze and crumble fresh goat cheese over individual servings. This way, you can enjoy the salad at its best without any sogginess or wilting.
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad
- Ripe peaches
- Fresh arugula
- Goat cheese
- Red onion
- Balsamic glaze
- Start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush the cut sides of the peaches with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill.
- Place the peaches, cut-side down, on the preheated grill. Grill them for about 2-3 minutes per side or until they have nice grill marks and are slightly softened. Avoid overcooking them to retain some firmness.
- Once grilled, remove the peaches from the grill and let them cool slightly. Cut them into wedges or slices, depending on your preference.
- While the peaches are cooling, lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat or in the oven for a few minutes until fragrant. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula, grilled peach slices, toasted walnuts, and thinly sliced red onion. Gently toss the ingredients together to distribute them evenly.
- Drizzle the salad with a generous amount of balsamic glaze or reduction. The sweet and tangy flavor will complement the grilled peaches and arugula beautifully.
- Crumble creamy goat cheese over the top of the salad. The tanginess of the cheese will balance the sweetness of the peaches and add a velvety texture.
The Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad is a delightful summer dish that perfectly balances the sweetness of grilled peaches with the peppery bite of arugula. The creamy goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and balsamic glaze add layers of flavor and texture, making this salad a true crowd-pleaser.