Grilled Peach Salad with warm goat cheese, arugula and toasted almonds. This salad has all the elements to be the perfect summer salad. It is fresh, crunchy and sweet!
Grilling the peaches really brings out all their flavor. The caramelization of the fruit intensifies their sweetness and the best part is that it really takes no time to grill them. They cook really fast!
Look for peaches that are hard with a little give, you should be able to smell the peach aroma around the stem – these are usually the sweetest! I grilled mine inside on a stovetop griller and brushed them with a little bit of butter before I placed them on the grill.
Keep the temperature at medium high and rotate them 90 degrees (a quarter of a turn, just once) if you want the cut marks on them. Grill them on both sides and set aside. The grilling process should take about 6-8 minutes.
You can perfectly grill them outside, just try to place them on the sides of the grill where the fire is not that high.
I was going to add plain goat cheese but I saw Ina Garten dip them in batter in her show a long time ago and I was curious to give them a try since she only used egg whites and breadcrumbs. I mixed panko and breadcrumbs and maybe I should just have used the breadcrumbs only as they will cover the sides of the cheese more evenly but I just love the crunchiness of the panko. Either way they turned out absolutely divine!
And I love the fact that you don’t have to deep fry them, just place them in the skillet with a tbs of olive oil and a tbs of butter.
You can definitely use plain goat cheese if you prefer, it complements the salad very well.
The grilled peaches and the goat cheese, combined with the peppery flavor of the arugula and the toasted almonds make this salad so tasty and full of different textures, you don’t really need a complicated dressing.
I used a simple balsamic honey vinaigrette, just 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbs of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and black pepper and 1 tbs of honey – you can also add 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, whisk and that’s it!
Here’s the recipe.
Grilled Peach Salad with warm Goat Cheese
Yield: 4 servings as a side dish
2 servings as a main dish (light lunch)
2 peaches, pitted and halved
1 4 oz bag of baby arugula
1 4.5 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup of almonds, sliced and toasted
3/4 cup of panko
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
2 egg whites
1 tbs of butter
1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of butter (to spread on the peaches before grilling)
For the dressing:
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs of honey
a pinch of salt and black pepper
1 tsp of Dijon Mustard
Wash and dry the peaches. Cut them in halves and remove the pits. Spread a little bit of butter on the flesh.
Prepare the grill, and heat at medium high. Brush the grill with a little oil and place the peaches cut side down. Grill for about 2 minutes and then turn them 90 degrees (or a quarter of a turn) if you want the cut grilling marks otherwise, just leave them on the grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are slightly charred. Remove from the grill and set aside.
Place the goat cheese in the freezer for about 10 minutes, the colder the better to slice it, but do not freeze it. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl and mix the breadcrumbs and the panko in another. Slice the goat cheese into 5 slices. Dip the slices into the beaten egg whites and then the panko/breadcrumbs mixture trying to cover all sides of the cheese. If you’re not going to cook them right away, place them on a rack and keep them chill in the refrigerator.
Place butter and olive oil in a medium pan at medium high heat. Place the slices of goat cheese and cook them quickly on each side until slightly toasted but not melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the meantime, you can start toasting the almonds. Place them in a small uncreased skillet and toast them for about 7-8 minutes at medium high heat until slightly golden.
Place balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and whisk the honey, while whisking add the olive oil and Dijon mustard (if you decide to use it), add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Place arugula on a salad plate add a couple of tbs of the dressing and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place the peaches, the goat cheese, sprinkle the almonds and drizzle with the remaining dressing.