Arugula, Grilled Peach, Goat Cheese and Honeyed Pecan Salad

This recipe is more than an excuse to bring peaches into the central part of dinner. We all snack on peaches, make peach desserts, cut them up and eat them for breakfast, but c’mon, the season is so short, we should be eating them at every meal! Grilling them brings out a lovely flavour and looks quite handsome, but really, you don’t need to do it. Their natural sweetness and beauty shine no matter how you slice them!

This salad is almost too easy, but who needs so complicated all the time.  This salad will become your August go-to, I guarantee it!

Arugula, Grilled Peach, Goat Cheese and Honeyed Pecan Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Pecans

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Salad

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 1 tbs olive oil for the peaches
  • 12 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • freshly ground pepper
  • coarse sea salt, I like Maldon

For the Dressing

  • 2 tbsp aged, thick balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • plenty of freshly ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • For the Pecans:  Preheat oven to 300˚F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper  On the prepared cookie sheet, toss the pecans with the honey and olive oil.  Bake for about 25 minutes, tossing several times during the cooking process.  All the honey should be absorbed but not crystallized.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

  • Grill the Peaches:  Prepare the grill. Heat grill to medium heat.  Halve and pit the peaches. Run a sharp knife along each peach’s seam to halve them. Remove the pit and cut each half in half so that the peaches are quartered.  Brush each cut side with olive oil.
  • Grill the slices, over medium heat, for 4 to 5 minutes.  Flip the peaches and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the peaches and grill until the skins are charred and the peaches are soft, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  • For the Salad:  Place the arugula in a large bowl or platter, drizzle with balsamic and olive oil.  Toss.  Add the pecans, crumbled goat cheese and grilled peaches.  Add extra freshly ground pepper and coarse sea salt.

Notes

A Delicious Variation!!
Lose the goat cheese, plate the salad on a platter (dressed) and drop a ball of burrata right in the middle.  Break the burrata ball open, drizzle it with a little extra virgin olive oil, some of that thick balsamic, pepper and coarse sea salt.  You have just won the lottery, my friends!

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