Last week I visited my parents with my sister, and while I was lazily contemplating what we should order in like the Brooklynite I've become, my mom and sister whipped up a gourmet salad better than any take-out I was considering. My sister, Colleen, did something so simple that took a boring grilled chicken salad and upgraded it to a fancy, restaurant quality, summer salad - she added grilled peaches. That evening we dined al fresco on my parent's deck with a bottle of white wine. The warm breeze and chilled crisp wine, together with the charred farm stand peaches, made for a perfect summer evening.
Grilled peaches complement any salad. They taste amazing with some fresh Burrata cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and make a great addition to vanilla ice cream with honey on a hot summer night. Our summer salad had grilled peaches, grilled chicken, fresh blueberries, avocado, tomatoes from our garden and goat cheese. It was light and fresh, yet filling at the same time.
To grill peaches, cut them in half, remove the pit - brush with either melted butter or non-flavor-ed oil on them, like canola oil. (I used butter) Put each half flesh side down on a hot grill for 3 - 4 minutes or until the grill marks appear on the peach and the fruit is tender. The trick to getting a good char is to get the grill really hot before putting the peaches on.
My mom also had this handy trick for adding grilled chicken to a salad. She pounds the chicken thin with a meat pounder before grilling it. Instead of dry chunks of grilled chicken weighing down your salad, the chicken is tender and perfectly sized. Do you have any tricks that instantly upgrade your salad? I'd love to know! In the meatime, enjoy this easy way to add fresh summer fruit into your salad!
(all photos Jamie Grill Photography)