Summer stone fruit has nearly run its’ course, which I take cue overstuffing my farmer’s markets bag (lucky to have this in southern California) without a care in the world as to what I’m going to do with them.
Stone fruit: they have a way of figuring these things out like ending up in this simple salad, or here or here. Though I’m a sucker for fruit desserts, I will admit sometimes there’s nothing better than leaning over the kitchen sink (preferably an empty sink) eating a big fat peach with its’ juices dripping down my chin, or arm, as I take a minute to enjoy the moment.
Because who the heck wants to wipe sticky peach juice off the floor after a moment like this. Not me.
Now that we got that out of the way, say we took that a step further and grilled the peaches. yeah. Psst, I use an indoor grill pan which makes this super easy too!
Then some peppery arugula. Shallots to balance out sweet peaches. Crazy kick ass good honey ginger dressing from this recipe (written out in the recipe below with one addition). yeah. And for some texture, heck let’s add some toasted hazelnuts. Now let’s eat as if we are dining on some mountainside in Europe. Italy? France?
Even though husband and children at the kitchen table are asking how to cut into these big peaches. Let’s forget all that right now. It’s the end of summer. Let’s pretend and hold on to the moment with peaches.
Pumpkin stuff can wait for a good long minute because you really need to try this, my friends.
Now take a bite (remember we’re in Italy or France, right?) … can you taste all those amazing flavors? And so light. Don’t you just love that?
All the sweetness in the peaches gives us some caramelization, enough to add another layer of flavor and keep it fresh tasting, but not too much so that it can overpower the other ingredients in the salad. Balance, people. We need balance. Ugh, so true.
Oh, if you were wondering hmm, what do I serve this with? Well, a whole bunch goes well with peaches!
Chicken, Pork, Beef, Turkey, Seafood, Salmon, Quinoa, Millet … the list goes on and on. I served it with baked wild salmon and snap peas. Being that the salad ingredients are versatile flavor-wise, any main you choose will likely compliment the flavors.
Also, before I leave you with the recipe, I should tell you that the skin does not toughen from grilling, so keep all the nutrition in there by leaving the skin on.
- 3-4 Peaches, sliced in half, pits removed
- 8-10 fistfuls arugula
- 1 cup raw
hazelnuts,lightly smashed to break open, toasted
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup honey or agave (I used raw honey)
- 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tablespoons GF balsamic (or sherry) vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt and crushed black pepper
- For the dressing, add all the ingredients into a mini food processor to blend well OR grate the ginger then add it into a bowl (or jar) with the remaining dressing ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.
- Note: you can drizzle in the olive oil at the end while whisking but I find it’s not necessary; with enough whisking or mixing it emulsifies well enough to fully coat the salad.
- Meanwhile, set a grill pan on high and when hot (about 5 minutes) place halved peaches on and lightly press
in tosear. Let it grill for 2-3 minutes then rotate in opposite direction to grill another 2 minutes until slightly softened. In a large bowl or platter, spread arugula evenly,then sliced shallots. Season with half the dressing and gently toss so as not to weigh down the arugula. Lightly toast hazelnuts (while grilling the peaches) on medium heat in a small skillet until the oils have permeated the air and hazelnuts appear toasted.
- Note: This should not take more than 3 minutes, so keep your eye on the pan as they can burn very quickly.
- Sprinkle over the salad, then place peaches on top and drizzle more dressing as desired. Serve immediately.
- Note: the salad dressing will make more than needed, save for another tasty salad.
- Final Note: "smash" hazelnuts in a plastic bag or in a cloth for toasting. Some may find the skins to be bitter, if so, rub off any loose skins while they are warm.
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