Make the most of summer peaches with a grilled peach salad! Sweet and smoky peaches, fresh berries, creamy goat cheese, spicy onions, and glazed pecans are tossed with mixed greens and drizzled with a maple vinaigrette for a salad which is anything but boring.
School is starting here in New England, days are getting shorter, and there has been a definite cool in the air.
But I’m not quite ready to put on sweaters and make stew. I want to stay in summer mode a little bit longer! Just long enough to eat another bowl of salad with grilled peaches, berries, and toasted pecans. Because the peaches are beautiful right now and I just gotta. 🙂
How do you make grilled peach salad?
To make grilled peach salad, quarter some ripe peaches and grill them on their cut sides until the peaches have dark grill marks. Combine the grilled peaches with berries, nuts, cheese, and mixed greens. Toss with a maple vinaigrette.
Grill the Peaches for the Salad
The most important part of a grilled peach salad is, of course, the peaches! You want to have ripe and flavorful peaches to start. Next it’s a simple matter of slicing them into quarters, tossing them with olive oil and salt, and then grilling them on a medium hot flame. Hot enough to get great grill marks, but not so hot they burn before they cook.
Cutting the peaches
If you know you have freestone peaches (where the pit comes out easily), cut them from north to south around the pit and then twist to free the peach. Take the side with the pit and cut it in half and then twist again to free the quarters from the pit. Cut the other half in half and you’re done.
Clingstone peaches (where the pit wants to stay where it is) are best to cut along the equator since they don’t cling nearly as much in that direction. Once you have halved the peach and separated it, just cut the half with the pit in half and free the peach from the pit.
Tip: There isn’t any way to tell a clingstone from a freestone peach by looking at it. However, later season peaches are much more likely to be freestone (it’s just a matter of when the varieties ripen). So, if you are buying in season peaches, by mid August you are going to have freestone peaches available!
Prep the rest of the ingredients
Though the peaches are the star here, they need a supporting cast! What do I like in a grilled peach salad?
- Berries. I chose raspberries since they looked the best when I was at the store. You can use blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or any other sweet berry you find.
- Cheese. I love the creaminess of goat cheese with the grilled peaches, but a blue cheese or a feta would also be lovely. One note about goat cheese: it’s fairly delicate. Don’t toss it with the salad but sprinkle it on top at the end.
- Onions. Red onions provide color, bite, and crunch to the salad. Switch them up for green onions or sweet onions if you wish.
- Nuts. Maple glazed pecans are a perfect counterpoint to the maple vinaigrette and my recipe for them is simple and quick. No time? Pick up a packet of glazed nuts at the store.
- Greens. Baby mixed greens make a great base for the salad. Baby spinach, kale, or arugula would be tasty additions to the mix.
Make a Maple Vinaigrette
This is a very simple dressing you can whisk together or shake up in a mason jar! Sherry vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, olive oil, along with salt and pepper get measured out and then mixed. Done.
If you try my recipe for Grilled Peach Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Grilled Peach Summer Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Sherry Maple Vinaigrette
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Grilled Peach Salad
- 4 peaches, cut into quarters
- olive oil and kosher salt
- 4 oz mixed salad greens, about 5 cups
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup maple glazed pecans
Sherry Maple Vinaigrette
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl or mason jar. Then either whisk or shake until emulsified.
Grilled Peach Salad
- Heat the grill on high. Once the grill is fully preheated, reduce the heat to medium high.
- Toss the peach quarters with olive oil and kosher salt. Place the peaches cut side down and grill for 4 minutes. Turn the peaches to other cut side and grill for an additional 4 minutes.
- Remove the peaches to a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Fill a serving bowl with the mixed greens. Add the raspberries, red onion, and grilled peaches.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.
- Top the salad with the goat cheese and glazed pecans.
- Cheese: You can substitute blue cheese or feta cheese for the goat cheese.
- Pecans: You can purchase glazed pecans or quickly make your own with my Maple Glazed Pecans recipe.
- Assembling the salad: Be gentle with the fruit (peaches and raspberries) when you are tossing the salad together since they will be bruised easily. Also, don't toss the pecans or goat cheese into the salad but leave them on top. The pecans will get soggy mixed in and goat cheese tends to smear and get messy.
- Vegan Salad: Omit the goat cheese (or have on the side for non-vegans) and use coconut oil for the glazed pecans.
- Dressing: This salad is also great with my Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.