Peach and Arugula Salad with goat cheese, basil, slivered almonds and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches!
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad
Growing up, my parents in their frugality would often buy produce in bulk from roadside stands. It was just the three of us, yet whole boxes of whatever was in season were purchased, at a discount of course, and the challenge was to eat the whole box of peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, oranges, okra, or eggplant, before the contents went bad.  There were days in summer, where all we ate were peaches.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Peaches. Or so it seemed….
fresh peaches

As I write this, the smell coming from the paper bag in the kitchen fills the house with deliciousness. It’s the scent of summer.  It brings me back to my old growing up kitchen, so long ago, with that 60’s daisy wall paper on the ceiling, and sticky hands and cheeks. To this day, my favorite way to eat a peach is still leaning over the kitchen sink.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad
You really don’t need to do too much to a good peach. Sliced over vanilla ice cream for a refreshing dessert, or over your morning yogurt and granola, they are mouthwatering. I also really love them in salads.
peaches
People sometimes ask me how to pick out a good peach. The first clue is always by their scent. You can’t judge a peach by its looks alone. A beautiful rosy colored peach may be utterly tasteless. A not-so-pretty, dented, lopsided, or bruised peach may be surprisingly flavorful.  Your best bet, is to let your nose be your guide. Their smell will mimic their taste. A good peach will smell of sweet nectar.
how to grill peaches
When looking at color, look at the background color of a peach, not just the beautiful reds and oranges. When the overall background color, behind the red and orange hues, turns golden, the peach is at its peak.  It should also feel weighted and heavy and the flesh should give to the touch. Peaches can ripen after they are picked, but they don’t get any sweeter. Like apricots, the longer they are allowed to mature on the tree, the sweeter and more concentrated the flavor.
The most obvious way, of course, is to just try one. If the juices are running down your chin and elbow, chances are, it’s probably a good peach.
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad  

These are organic peaches called Early Red Havens. They were grown by Bob and Shelly Berryman of Twin Springs Organic Farm in Rice, Washington, who have been growing certified organic peaches every summer since 1981. Juicy, sweet and super fragrant, to me, these peaches are perfection. Each peach is tree-ripened and then hand picked. They go back to the same tree several times, only picking the ones that are at their ideal ripeness, ensuring each peach has reached its peak flavor. Peaches are “climacteric”, meaning they can ripen after they are picked. But they can’t get any sweeter. Sweetness and flavor come from being allowed to mature on the tree, before they are picked.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad

Their peaches are grown in an arid dry region of Washington, near lake Roosevelt. This perfect combination of dry climate and fertile soil allows the sugar content and flavors to become really concentrated. You can find them at the Thursday Market on Perry Street and the Liberty Lake Market on Saturdays. They also can be found in Seattle.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad
This salad is an easy way to try grilled peaches. Although I have to admit, when short on time, I make the same salad with out grilling the peaches and it’s really just as good. But for the sake of trying something different, this is worth a shot.
There are hundreds of varieties of peaches which can be further classified into clingstone, freestone or semi-freestone. This tells us basically, how firmly the peach attaches to the pit. Clingstones stubbornly attach to the pit, making halving them a little more difficult.
The first step in making this salad is removing some of the fuzziness off the peach. Use a dry towel and gently buff the peaches. If the peach is very ripe, this may tear the skin. Instead, hold under a running faucet and with your fingers, gently rub. If you are not a fan of peach skin, it’s actually really easy to peel off after the peaches are grilled. Or before hand, dip them in a hot water bath for a few seconds and the skins will slip right off. Halve the peaches.
Because these are clingstones, the flesh held on so tightly to the pit, the pit split apart. I will say that freestones are easier to work with, especially if you are making large quantities, but the extraordinary flavor of these clingstones are worth the little extra effort.  In small amounts, scooping out the seed is not that difficult.

Make an easy vinaigrette with white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a little honey or agave.
I like using white balsamic vinegar verses regular balsamic in this vinaigrette because it’s a little lighter and brighter on the palate and also doesn’t dull the gorgeous color of the peaches. But if you can’t find it, a good quality balsamic works just fine.

Lightly brush a little olive oil or some vinaigrette on the peaches and place on a preheated grill set to Medium. Make sure your grill is good and clean, using a wire brush to scrape off past endeavors.

Once you lay the peaches down, don’t fiddle with them. Just let them sit and develop grill marks. About 5 minutes later,  gently flip one and see if it is nicely grilled and ready to turn. When they are, carefully turn them, with a metal spatula, and try to retain some of the grill marks. Grill for just a minute or so.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad

When selecting cheese, choose one that is not too salty. Chèvre, fresh mozzarella, or a fresh sheep’s milk cheese work great. Salty cheeses, like feta, not so great.

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with basil and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette -a simple tasty recipe using fresh seasonal peaches! #peachsalad #peaches #arugula #peacharugulasalad
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Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad, main, Gluten-free
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Northwest

Description

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with toasted almonds, fresh basil, goat cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 ripe, delicious smelling peaches, halved
  • 6 oz baby arugula (or other favorite green)
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese, or fresh mini mozzarella balls
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons. Purple basil is pretty.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette


Instructions

If grilling the peaches, preheat the grill. ( You don’t have to grill them)

Mix the vinaigrette together in a small bowl or jar.

Wash peaches, rubbing the fuzz off with your fingers under running water ( or uses a dry towel). Half the peaches, scoop out the seeds and brush with a little olive oil. Grill for 4-6 minutes over medium heat uncovered until they have noticeable grill marks. Using a metal spatula gently turn over and grill one more minute. Try to keep peach in tact. Cut peaches into wedges.

Toss greens, onions, basil leaves, slivered almonds and goat cheese in a medium bowl with some of the vinaigrette.. You may have some leftover. Place the grilled peaches on top,  sprinkle witih optional nasturshim petals.

Details

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minute Total time: 20 minutes


Notes

Grilling the peaches is optional. If peaches are very juicy and ripe, no need to grill.

Keywords: peach salad, peach salad recipes, peach arugula salad, peach arugula goat cheese salad, peach almond salad

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  1. Oh wow, we just had this salad with our dinner…so good! And so simple and easy to make. I used feta instead because my husband dislikes goats cheese and local Australian orange blossom honey.
    I Will be making this again and again, thank you.

  2. Im surprised the recipe doesn’t call for peeling the skin off the peaches after grilling. I think the skin is a distraction.. recipe great , beautiful fresh and tasty

  3. Shepherds Cheese is a sheep’s milk cheese. Cheese made from the milk of a sheep, vs. a cow or goat. In Spokane, I sometimes find it at Huckleberries, Saunders Cheese Market or the Main Market Co-op. If you are not in Spokane, try a cheese store or a gourmet grocer. And goat cheese works just as well. 🙂

    1. Shepherds Cheese is a sheep’s milk cheese. Cheese made from the milk of a sheep, vs. a cow or goat. In Spokane, I sometimes find it at Huckleberries, Saunders Cheese Market or the Main Market Co-op. If you are not in Spokane, try a cheese store or a gourmet grocer. And goat cheese works just as well. 🙂

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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