It’s summer and time to make a fresh and healthy grilled peach salad! Arugula, Burrata cheese & pecans are tossed with a sweet and tangy cherry vinaigrette.
Hot summer days calls for cool, creamy, sweet and tangy salads. Not to fret, a quick and healthy grilled peach salad with cherry vinaigrette is here to save the day! Lately when we get home after a long day at the office and daycare for James, the house is pretty toasty. We immediately open the windows for some fresh air, and I dread heating up the house anymore by cooking in the kitchen to make dinner. That’s why I like to cook outdoors on my grill as much as possible and have a lighter dinner al fresco style.
Simple, fast and fresh is my summer food motto, and it’s super easy to get inspired by all of the ripe fruits and vegetables at the market. Some blushing ripe peaches and ruby red cherries caught my eye during a recent shopping trip, and I knew just what to do. Keep reading to see all of the juicy details!
It’s peaches galore at the market right now, and I love it! I picked up some beautiful just ripe, sweet peaches that were just soft to the touch. I drizzled the quartered peach pieces with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, and then dusted the cut sections with a light even coating of ground cinnamon. Oooohhh they smell so good when they are cooking, just like a peach cobbler!
The grilled peaches essentially roast in the covered BBQ for about 8 minutes. These little fruits get a bit more tender, juicy and the sweetness gets more enhanced with the aromatic cinnamon as they cook. The goal is to soften the peaches, but not dry them out. I wish I achieved a little stronger charring lines, but it still tasted so yummy.
Cherries, you are so gorgeous! When cherries first appear in the fruit aisle, I almost always do a double take because they are so darn lovely and perfect. It’s one of those definite signs that summer is here! Super sweet, juicy and tart, these red fruit jewels are fantastic just snacking each one right off the stem.
I wanted to incorporate even more of the fabulous cherry flavor into the salad, so I thought that blending fresh cherries into a vinaigrette would be fantastic. I used my Vitamix blender to quickly puree the fresh pitted cherries, honey, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, shallots and olive oil altogether to create a delicate silky sweet dressing.
Since I had a bag full of cherries, I knew that I had to add some halved cherries right into the salad to get that extra sweet and tangy flavor with each bite.
To bring the grilled peach salad all together, super smooth and creamy burrata cheese and crunchy chopped pecans added some additional texture. I chose arugula as the lettuce because I like how the leaves are sturdy. They can hold up better to a thicker vinaigrette and not get soggy and wilted, plus it has a nice light peppery flavor to balance the sweetness of the salad. You can even add some grilled chicken or salmon if you’re looking for a heartier entree salad. This simple and refreshing salad is a wonderful summer treat!
If you are looking for more healthy salad recipe inspirations, try my grilled succotash salad, honey lime glazed salmon with sesame rice noodle salad or chicken broccoli slaw kale salad.
What is a Vinaigrette dressing?
Oil and vinegar are the two main ingredients needed to make a vinaigrette. In this recipe, balsamic vinegar and olive oil are used for the dressing and needs to be combined to create an emulsion. An emulsion is mixing a combination of two liquids that do not naturally mix like oil and vinegar. Using intense agitation like mixing (whisking or blending) to help disperse the two ingredients into tiny droplets that create a uniform mixture. An emulsifier like mustard, honey or lecithin in egg whites helps to make the emulsion more stable. Otherwise, the mixture will eventually separate again. Honey in the dressing acts as a binder of the oil and vinegar phases in the vinaigrette to keep it emulsified.