There’s nothing wrong with a basic salad. They’re healthy, filling, and makes any meal well-rounded but…salads can be pretty boring, especially if they’re just made from your typical mixed greens and tossed with a regular dressing.
Here at CookingChew, we don’t believe in boring salads which is why we’ve already created delicious and unique salads before, such as this quick and easy watermelon and feta salad. However, you might be looking for something a bit more filling and heartier.
Enter: the grilled peach salad with champagne vinaigrette.
This amazing salad is the perfect compliment for most grilled or roasted meat dishes because it’s light, tangy, and sweet! Pork, in particular, goes very well with grilled peaches, so if you’re making this for a party or family dinner, why not fire up your oven and knock out some oven-roasted pork chops? The peaches make the perfect foil for the moist, succulent meat and the champagne vinaigrette will brighten up your palette!
How to pick out peaches?
The high sugar content in peaches makes them perfect for grilling. A little bit of heat from the grill caramelizes the surface of the peaches, softens the flesh, and brings out a depth of flavor that you won’t get any other way.
To get the best peaches for grilling, look for peaches that are ripe or slightly underripe. The stem cavity should be yellow, and the flesh should have a slight give when you squeeze them.
In the USA, most peaches have yellow flesh and are slightly more tart compared to their white-fleshed counterpart. That slight tartness works well with grilled peaches because you’ll get a hint of tanginess that cuts through the rich sweetness of the peach.
How to wash romaine lettuce?
Before using lettuce, you should wash it to remove dust and dirt from the surface. Separate the leaves and rinse them under cold running water. Pat the leaves down with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
Can you chop pecans in a blender?
Yes, you can chop pecans in a blender. You want to have rough, bite-sized chunks of pecan so that you’ll get a nice crunch in your salad so make sure to pulse them. You can also use a food processor.
If you don’t have a food processor or blender, place the pecans in a Ziplock bag and seal the bag. Lay the bag flat on a solid surface and place a towel over the bag. Crush the nuts using a rolling pin or mallet. Some people actually prefer using this method because it gives them better control over how roughly they want their pecans crushed.
How do you pack a salad for lunch?
If you’re packing your salad for lunch, you want to have a nice, crisp salad, right? Soggy and wilted salads are just sad.
First, use a large and loose container. It helps keeps the greens nice and loose so that they don’t get crushed or soggy. Also, use a separate container for the dressing; if you put the dressing in with the greens in the morning, you’re sure to have a soggy mess come lunchtime.
Also, you want to cool down the peaches to room temperature before adding them into your packed lunch. Otherwise, the peaches will steam out and the moisture will also cause your salad greens to become soggy. If possible, you can also use a small separate container for your pecans to ensure that they remain crunchy until you want to eat them.
A large container such as a Tupperware is perfect for packed salads because they allow you to pack more greens and it’s a lot easier to mix the ingredients in the container when lunchtime rolls around.
Can I prepare this salad in advance?
Yes, you can prepare this salad in advance. In fact, a salad with peaches can benefit from a little time in the fridge because the greens will soak up a little bit of the peach juices, ensuring a crisp yet sweet bite!
Our CookingChew Cooking Tips:
1. Keep the pits in
When grilling the peaches, make sure to keep the pits in. They’re easier to grill when they have pits because they’ll remain firm and sturdy even when they’re cooked through. Remove the pits before slicing the peaches.
2. Use a neutral-tasting oil
For grilling the peaches, you want to use a neutral oil such as corn, safflower, or canola oils so that you won’t get any additional flavors from the oil. This way, you’re allowing the natural sweetness of the peaches to shine.
Sweet N’ Smoky Grilled Peach Salad with Tangy Champagne Vinaigrette
With summer gone, you’re probably missing all those fun family barbecues that you had in your backyard. However, you can still enjoy the flavors of summer even though you’re probably grilling indoors these days because of the cold weather.
This delicious and hearty peach salad is a combination of amazing flavors and textures. First, you’ve got your sweet and smoky peaches. Next, you’ve got your crunchy pecans and succulent chicken breast. Finally, you’ve got your creamy goat cheese. All these great flavors tied together with a tangy champagne vinaigrette that will make everyone want a second helping. What’s not to love?
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce, base removed, washed and patted dry
- 3 medium ripe peaches
- 16 oz. shredded rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
- 4 oz. pecans, chopped
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 1 T. corn oil
- 3 T. champagne vinegar
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot
- 1 T. Dijon mustard
- 1 T. honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely mince shallot.
- Prepare vinaigrette by mixing together champagne vinegar, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, minced shallots, and Dijon mustard in a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk together until ingredients are well-combined. Set aside.
- Spray grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium.
- Cut peaches in half, leaving pit in.
- Brush peaches with corn oil and grill peaches, cut side down, for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, flip and grill other side for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cut into wedges, and set aside.
- Tear Romaine leaves into bite-sized chunks and place on 4 serving plates. Divide peaches, chicken breast, pecans, and goat cheese evenly among plates.
- Drizzle each plate with prepared champagne vinaigrette.
- Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 497mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 35g
Toss before Serving!
If you want your salad to be a bit more evenly distributed and the dressing to thoroughly coat all the ingredients, you can place all the ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss with the vinaigrette before serving on individual plates.
What if I don’t have Goat Cheese?
If you don’t have goat cheese (or you don’t want to use goat cheese, as some people find it a bit too strong), you can use substitutes such as cream cheese, ricotta, or feta!
What Can I Do with Extra Goat Cheese?
If you’ve got some extra goat cheese, you can store it or you can make this quick and easy zucchini and goat cheese pasta. Yes, it will go well with your grilled peach salad because zucchini is another summer vegetable, so you’ve got summer flavors in this dish as well!
We believe that when it comes to salad, you need to put a little bit of imagination and creativity to spruce it up! In this salad recipe, you’ve got sweet peaches, crunchy pecans, and creamy goat cheese to bring your salad game to the next level.