August 7, 2012

Grilled Peach Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Almonds {Naptime Everyday}

Grilled Peach Salad with Blue Cheese with Toasted Almonds via The Naptime Chef

This summer I’ve been all about peaches. I’ve always loved peaches but this year they seem especially ripe and appealing. It also helps that my daughter has started enjoying them  – the past few years she has had no interest in them whatsoever which was a bit of a bummer. When we were at the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market on Saturday I picked up a big bag in anticipation of a fresh peach almond galette and a savory peach salad with blue cheese and toasted almonds.

This is one of our favorite savory summer salads because we love the pairing of sweet peaches, tangy cheese, and salty toasted almonds. Combined in one bowl with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette it is a pitch perfect melange of savory, sweet, and tart. In fact, I’ve been making this salad so frequently I’ve begun riffing on the entire fruit/cheese/nut combination. So far we’ve had strawberry/goat/pecan, cherry/feta/walnut, and this peach combination. It is a formula that always seems to work.

I usually speed up the salad making process by whipping up the fresh balsamic reduction in the morning, making sure all of our lettuces are washed, and toasting the almonds. At dinner time we grill the peaches, scatter in the blue cheese, and toss everything together. I find it speedier and more efficient to have the make-ahead parts set to go like this because then it really just becomes a matter of tossing everything together at the end of the day.

Recipe

Peach Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Almonds

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and dried and torn into pieces
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 large peach, halved and pit removed
¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons balsamic reduction (instructions below)

Instructions

1. Heat the grill to medium and places the peaches cut side down directly on the grill over indirect heat (to the side of the flame.) Cook for about 1 minute and then remove from the place and slip off the warm skin. Cut into slices and set aside.

2. In a large salad bowl toss the dried arugula, blue cheese, and almonds. Top the salad with the peaches slices and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

3. To make the balsamic reduction: Add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. Reserve remaining reduction for other uses.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

We ate this with some grilled burgers, but it would be great served with all sorts of things in the summer.  For milder flavors try using goat cheese or feta instead

Naptime Stopwatch

15 minutes prep time, about 5 minutes grill time

Naptime Reviews

We love the strong flavors of peaches paired with blue cheese so it was a big hit!