Just Peachy

June 27, 2012

Another heat wave is set to bake the Northeast this weekend, and here’s what we’ll be making for dinner. Nothing cuts through that summer heat like a fresh, flavorful salad. Grilled peaches are a marvelous thing – their sweetness becomes enhanced by the warmth from the grill, slightly caramelizing the sides of the peach wedges. This salad, from Working Mother Magazine, utilizes the grilled peach slices to balance the peppery arugula, and the creamy goat cheese binds it all together. The addition of the brown sugar on the peaches helps with the caramelization – make sure you use ripe peaches, but not so ripe that they are soft. They need some firmness to maintain their integrity on the grill. And if you have some extra peaches, grill them and save them for dessert – top vanilla ice cream with them and your tongue will thank you. Enjoy!

Peach, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

(serves 4)

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 firm, ripe peaches
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 bunches arugula (about 2 cups), tough stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring ½ cup of the vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cut peaches in half lengthwise; remove and discard the pits. Cut each half into 6 wedges. Place in a shallow dish, sprinkle with brown sugar, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Brush and oil the grill grate or a vegetable-grilling basket. Arrange peaches on the grate or in the basket directly over medium-high heat. Grill, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 1 minute per side. In a large serving bowl, combine arugula and oil; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange peaches on top and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Top with cheese to serve. Eat!


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