Summer is here!!! Aside from the fact that I can finally stash away those bulky jackets, the warmer weather and sunnier days are welcomed by more time at the cabin, playing outside with Pete followed by ice cream! Guess who loves getting out of the house more than I do? Woof, woof!
Summer also means an array of ripe and juicy fruits just waiting to be picked and brought home. The first thing I’m getting my hands on is fresh peaches. These plump and fuzzy fruits are great eaten as-is, but they’re even better in a crispy peach cobbler and a boozy red sangria.
One other peach recipe I’ve been whipping up is this peach arugula salad.
I know what you’re thinking… Salad, again?
Okay, you caught me – but this is not just another salad recipe. You know how some summer salads are so ordinary you forget about them quickly? This peach salad recipe is NOT one of them. There are grilled peaches, savory goat cheese, crisp rocket leaves, curry candied pecans (yes, you read that right), and blueberries: all laced with a sweet honey balsamic dressing.
Whip this summer peach salad up in just 5 minutes! It’s fantastic for a quick gluten-free lunch in between errands, a fun summer picnic, or that potluck party you still haven’t got any ideas for. I guarantee that this appetizer is going to be the talk of the town.
Simply mix these ingredients and you’ve got a delicious honey balsamic dressing:
- Light olive oil – Olive oil is a must-have in balsamic vinaigrette, as it mellows down the sharpness of the vinegar while still maintaining its taste.
- Balsamic vinegar – A sharp taste that brings out the flavor of fresh vegetables, balsamic vinegar is a popular salad dressing that you have to have in your pantry.
- Honey – Honey provides a sweet fragrance to accompany the peaches and pecans in this recipe.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
Ingredients for the curry candied pecans:
- Pecans – Purchase a bag of shelled pecans (we want ½ cup for this recipe). Give them a wash under lukewarm water to get rid of any dirt and pat dry before cooking.
- Honey – Honey helps to coat the pecans with spices.
- Unsalted butter – Meanwhile, unsalted butter will prevent the sticky, honey-coated pecans from sticking to each other.
- Curry powder and turmeric powder – These are the spices that will make up our curry flavor on the pecans, yum! Feel free to reduce the amount if you are sensitive to spice.
- Salt – To taste.
Ingredients for the salad:
- Baby arugula – These peppery leaves are crisp and have a bold flavor. If you cannot find the petite baby arugula leaves, you can use the mature arugula with the larger leaves (sometimes labeled rocket leaves).
- Ripe peaches – Wash and peel before slicing into wedges.
- Pro Tip: Finding a sweet peach isn’t rocket science. Simply use your nose and sniff. A good peach will give off a sweet nectar scent that you can smell distinctly.
- Blueberries – Frozen blueberries work well for this recipe, but if they’re in season, why not get the fresh ones?
- Crumbled goat cheese – Another strong flavor in this salad comes from salty, nutty goat cheese. Crumble it in your hands for the best results.
How to Make Curry Candied Pecans
Spicy and sweet, these curry candied pecans add crunch and zing to any dish they’re used in. I’m nuts about them! Once you have made a batch of them, keep them in an air-tight container so they’re within reach at any time.
To begin, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Meanwhile, cook the glaze in a frying pan at medium-high heat. Boil honey, curry powder, turmeric, sea salt, and pecans until the pan is dry. This should be about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t burn.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter to prevent the pecans from sticking together. Turn pecans out onto the sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast them for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Allow it to cool before using or storing in a container.
Assembling the Salad
Once you have all your different parts ready – the grilled peaches, the curried pecans, and the honey balsamic vinaigrette – you’re ready to assemble the salad.
In a large bowl, layer the baby arugula, grilled peaches, and blueberries. Make sure the arugula leaves are completely dry, first, so that you don’t water down the dressing.
Sprinkle the curried pecans. You should now have a salad bowl filled with the most beautiful colors. Then, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly.
- Pro Tip: If you are making this salad ahead of time, keep the dressing in a separate container and only mix it into the salad when ready to serve. This prevents the salad from getting soggy.
Finally, scatter the crumbled goat cheese over the salad and serve immediately. Bon Appetit!
Other Add-ins & Variations
As always, there are variations to any dish, including this fresh peach salad recipe.
Have the peaches as-is:
This recipe will taste yummy even if you don’t grill the peaches. Simply have them fresh, and if you’re craving this recipe when peaches are not in-season, you can use canned peaches.
Use different types of cheeses:
There are so many types of cheese available to substitute goat cheese with. My favorite cheeses for this recipe are feta cheese, ricotta cheese, and blue cheese. I know not everyone loves blue cheese (you either love it or you hate it), so choose wisely depending on who’s going to be eating it.
Peach Salad Recipe
The Honey Balsamic Dressing:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
The Curry Candied Pecans:
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces baby arugula 1 box
- 4 ripe peaches peeled
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- ¾ cup blueberries
- ¾ cup goat cheese crumbled
Make your Honey Balsamic Dressing:
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make your Curry Candied Pecans:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the pecans, honey, curry powder, tumeric and sea salt in a small frying pan and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the pan is dry, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter to prevent the pecans from sticking together.
- Transfer pecans onto a prepared sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool, before adding to salad or an airtight container for storage.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Then cut each peach half into three wedges. Place the peaches in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the oil.
- Preheat your grill to high. Grill the peaches for 2-3 minutes per side.
Put It Together:
- Arrange in a large bowl arugula, grilled peaches, blueberries and curried pecans. Mix together with your dressing.
- Top with goat cheese and serve immediately. Bon Appetit!