Aren’t You A Peach!!!

It’s peach season and I have been taking full advantage of it this week.  The basis for everything peachy has been a Grilled Peach Buffalo Mozzarella & Arugula Salad from the gorgeous food blog Farmhouse Table that is filled with recipes using the seasonal produce from a local Texas Farm Share.

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Having pinned this post a while ago, selecting it and actually recreating it was a bit surprising for me.  I am usually not a fruit in salad person.  I always find it to be too sweet for my taste.  Grilled peaches is something I have held at arm’s length for a number of years – the first time I attempted to grill the late summer fruit I almost burned down my friends’ Florida home.  Oops!  I learned that night that too much wine and working a new grill just don’t mix.  Without the wine, I might actually have noticed the shelf that the plugged-in Bose speaker was sitting on was actually a burner – I might not have turned on ALL the grill knobs!  Burned plastic and an electrical fire was not exactly what I was going for in my “thank you for your hospitality” meal.  It took a few years for me to receive an invite back and I have not attempted grilled fruit since!

However, this salad was hard to resist so I decided it was time to lift the grilled fruit ban and I wasn’t disappointed.

Adding some lovely grilled steak and fresh bread makes for a perfect summer meal.

Or, if you get adventurous, you can make the salad part of a pizza – grilled pizza crust, sliced ham and mozzarella topped with grilled peaches and arugula – YUM!!

An alternative would be to add some whole wheat rigatoni and a protein of your choosing for a refreshing pasta salad.  A wonderful meal for a trip to the beach.

Grilled Peach Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella & Arugula

6 peaches, cut in half and pitted
Kosher or sea salt
3-4 large handfuls arugula, washed and dried
1 small red onion, slivered
5 oz. buffalo mozzarella or other fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
4 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. Dijon or whole grain mustard
2 Tbs. minced chives
1/3 c. olive oil
1 Tbs. heavy cream

Light a grill and let it heat to medium-hot.  Lightly salt the cut sides of the peaches, drizzle very lightly with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill.  When the peaches are charred and just beginning to soften, remove them to a platter and set aside.  To make the dressing – place vinegar, honey, mustard and chives in a small bowl  whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified (this will make sure the dressing does not separate).  Whisk in the cream.  Toss arugula and onion with some of the dressing and place on serving platter or dish.  Place the peaches and mozzarella amongst greens and drizzle with a little more dressing. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.

Pizza Alternative – 

Added ingredients:  pizza dough and sliced honey ham

Roll your dough on a floured surface.  I like to make my pizzas personal size as I find them easier to manage when grilling.  Once the size you want, generously oil and place on the grill.  Cook on both sides to the crispness you prefer, immediately move pizzas to a higher rack and add sliced ham and mozzarella.  Remove the pizza once the cheese has melted.  Add sliced grilled peaches and top with dressed arugula.

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Pasta Alternative –

Added ingredients:  3 cups cooked and chilled whole wheat rigatoni pasta, 1 cup diced honey ham or other protein of your choice

Make salad as instructed above.  Add pasta and ham when adding dressing.  Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve.  Note: I suggest holding off adding arugula till ready to serve.  This will keep the tender greens from wilting or being over dressed.

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