Sweet grilled juicy peaches, buttery avocado, creamy goat cheese, and peppery arugula combine for a flavorful summer salad that delights all the senses. This perfect healthy and delicious salad is simply finished with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the ideal mix of sweet, tangy, and earthy flavors. This easy arugula salad is vegetarian and nut-free which makes it a lovely salad to share with others for parties, backyard barbecues, or brunch with friends.
Grilling peaches may not be something you are familiar with but trust me this extra step is worth it. Do not be intimidated by this, all you need to know about grilling peaches is outlined below. You will wonder why you haven’t tried this sooner. So what are you waiting for, read on?
Why Grill the Peaches?
At the peak of summer, peaches could not be any more wonderful. They are juicy, sweet, and have tropical hints. They really taste like they cannot possibly get any better. Then you grill one, and wow! They are elevated and become even sweeter as the fruit’s natural sugars caramelize a bit. The little bit of acid that is found in stone fruits also mellows making it the perfect partner to the balsamic vinegar that gets drizzled on this masterpiece.
To find out more about why and when to grill food with the lid open or closed, read my post –
What to Know About Grilling Peaches?
- Ensure you have freestone peaches – you will want the pit to be removed easily for better slicing
- With or without skin, it is up to your personal preference
- Peaches that are just under or barely ripe are ideal. They will be firmer for handling on the grill. (they will yield a gentle give when squeezed)
- If peaches are soft and ripe, best to grill in halves so they do not slip through the grill as they soften even further once they get cooking.
- Spray or brush with olive oil to ensure they do not stick to the grill
- How to grill peaches includes grilling them on Medium-High heat. You want to produce fast grill marks and caramelization. Keep the lid open as you don’t want to “bake” them, just sear the outside.
- Watch them carefully, the natural sugars tend to burn easily so they do not take long to reach perfection
- Do NOT stack them after grilling so they do not smash each other, line them in a single layer on a platter
How to Make Grilled Peach Arugula Goat Cheese Salad
Begin by gathering all the ingredients listed in the recipe card and shown below. Be sure your peaches and avocados are ripe but firm. The peaches will need to have the pit removed and then sliced thickly so they can grill easily. Make sure to wash and dry your arugula and the goat cheese I find is best when it is closer to room temperature than very cold from the refrigerator. So be sure all the ingredients are ready to go.
How to Grill Fresh Peaches
Gently toss or spray 2 large peaches, in thick slices, with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill, uncovered with the grill lid open, 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Watch them carefully as they do cook fast and do not want to burn them.
How to Assemble the Peach, Avocado, & Goat Cheese Salad
Gather a large serving platter or salad bowl. Once the peaches are ready, gently place them over the arugula. Top with diced avocado and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then add salt & pepper to taste.
Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?
This recipe calls for 3 ounces of goat cheese. I often cannot find a small enough item at the grocery store; therefore, I have leftover goat cheese. When I cannot use it right away, I like to freeze it. Due to its soft nature, goat cheese will not last long in the refrigerator like other hard cheeses. If you plan to not use it all in 2-3 days, I suggest your freeze your goat cheese which is easy to do.
To freeze goat cheese, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Next place it in a Ziplock, squeeze to remove all the air, and finally zip it closed. The goat cheese can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost or thaw, remove the frozen goat cheese from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Depending on how big the size of the goat cheese section is, it can take 1-3 days to defrost in the refrigerator. Goat cheese is wonderful crumbled and freezing it will not change the texture.
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Grilled Peach, Avocado, and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
- 2 medium peaches pitted & thick-sliced (6-8 slices each)
- 1 TBSP olive oil or olive oil spray
- salt & pepper
- 1 large avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
- 6 C loosely packed arugula
- 3 oz goat cheese crumbled
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP balsamic or red wine vinegar
- salt & pepper
- Gently toss or spray the peach slices with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill on medium-high heat, uncovered with the grill lid open, for 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Once done, place in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet.
- In a large serving bowl or platter, add the arugula. Top with the slices of peaches.
- Top with diced avocado and crumbled goat cheese.
- Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Then add salt & pepper to taste.
- Toss gently and plate to enjoy immediately. This makes 6 servings as a side dish or appetizer. It can also be enjoyed as a main course for 4.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18.8g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 5.9g||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8.6g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 5.6g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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