Well, this is post is officially a day later than I had hoped but I guess that’s what happens when you head out of town and forget your laptop charger. Oops! With a few days away from work and no plans in hand, my husband and I made a last minute decision to head to his family’s cabin in the northern Minnesota lake country. We invited some friends to join us and had a great couple of days of sun, sand, water, and some good food. I love the simplicity of summer foods – marinades and grilled chicken or burgers, fresh fish, and plenty of salads. As part of our Southern themed dinner party earlier this summer, Lane and I tossed together this Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad to lighten up an otherwise heavy menu.
The key to this salad really is it’s simplicity. There are no fancy ingredients, no need to mix a lot of things. Just grab the freshest peaches you can find – you know, the ones that drip all over your fingers when you bite into them! – and lightly brush them with olive oil. Grill lightly and slice in quarters. Layer some fresh, peppery arugula with thinly sliced red onion, and top with goat cheese. We dipped rounds of goat cheese in egg whites, rolled them in chopped pecans and baked them (350 for about 7 minutes) for added oomph but, honestly, the salad is just as good with a generous sprinkling of crumbled cheese and roughly chopped nuts. Add the peaches and drizzle the whole thing with good olive oil and (our secret ingredient!) peach white balsamic reduction. We get ours at the amazing Queen Creek Olive Mill in Arizona. We also love their signature olive oils for just about everything, but especially in salads where you really want a great oil.
(Disclaimer: while we do work with the Queen Creek Olive Mill on recipes, this particular post is not sponsored. We just really love their stuff and use it all the time!)
If you can’t find peach balsamic reduction, I would just stick with a good white balsamic vinegar – Trader Joes has a great one – and reduce it lightly to a syrupy consistency and then drizzle some fresh peach juice over the whole thing! A light dusting of fresh cracked black pepper finishes up the layers of flavors. If you want to make it into a more hearty meal, it would pair well with grilled chicken or even steak. The former vegetarian in me likes it just as it is with a nice chunk of fresh bread slathered in good, salted butter and a cold glass of sparkling rosé.
- 2 Fresh Peaches, halved (pits removed)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small package (3-4 ounces) goat cheese, sliced into rounds
- ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
- 1 egg white
- 4 cups arugula
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the goat cheese into ¼ to ½ inch rounds and coat each round lightly with egg white.
- Roll the cheese slices in the chopped pecans to coat.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1-2 inches apart, and bake for 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden.
- Brush the peach halves lightly with olive oil and grill for 2-3 minutes until just fragrant.
- Using either one large platter or 4 serving plates, layer arugula, sliced onions, and the goat cheese rounds. Top with peach slices.
- Drizzle the salads with olive oil and a small amount of peach balsamic reduction.
- Top with freshly cracked black pepper and serve!