Peaches are my favorite summer fruit, without a doubt. When summer rolls around, they are the first fruit I look for. They are so beautiful in their blush colored jackets, that truly they can't be missed. Though I love them best out of hand, they taste glorious in pies and cobblers and as a change from strawberries with shortcake. They make great sauces for bbq and can be used for salsa, but this year I decided to use them hot off the grill. Yes, they are superb in salads and the grill gives them such a robust flavor.
Last week I had lunch with my friend Karen. I have two friends named Karen and this Karen is actually almost family. Her dog, Logan, is Geordie's dad and so I guess that makes us cousins! In a round about way, of course. It was a lovely day outside and since we are now getting August temps in June, I thought salad would be a perfect main course. Combining grilled halloumi, a great salty and squeaky Greek cheese, with grilled peaches worked out really well. Topping it with a dressing made from my fresh oregano made it even better. If you don't have oregano, basil and basil pesto works great, too! Throwing on some fresh shaved fennel, some gorgeous red pomegranate seeds, truffle salted almonds and some red onions, put it over the top. And let's not forget the tomatoes. Choose several colors and slice them into quarters, and watch how they pair with the peaches. Served on this gorgeous platter that my mother got me in Italy years ago, made a good thing look even better.
Summer fruits are now in season at Whole Foods so check them out. The cherries are divine this year and I've already told you about the peaches. Stone fruits such as plums, apricots and nectarines, are all perfect for the grill. I always toss them with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with some fresh herbs before grilling. Preheat the grill to medium high and place cheese slices and peach quarters on the cleaned grate. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. This may take up to 2 minutes per side. Grilling, caramelizes the sugars in the peach, which seals in the juices and makes them extra scrumptious with your first bite. As an extra tip, I grilled the peaches and the cheese ahead. I kept them at room temperature and then just before serving popped them in the microwave for about a minute. This warmed them back up and I then placed them on the salad. This way I didn't have to be grilling while entertaining family!
Remember peaches aren't just for dessert anymore!
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Time to Make: About 20 minutes
1/2 a bag of Spring Greens Salad Mix
1/2 a bag of baby arugula
2 peaches, washed and quartered , brushed with oil and grilled
1 8 oz package Halloumi cheese, sliced and brushed with oil and herbs and grilled
Handful of pomegranate seeds
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 T Marcona almonds, rough chopped
4-6 Tomatoes-all colors, quartered (How many depends on variety)
6 T Lemon Oregano Pesto or basil pesto thinned with buttermilk, until a dressing consistency is reached
Pile salad greens on platter. Grill peaches and Halloumi and set aside until ready. (See notes above.) Top greens with all ingredients. Scatter peaches and Halloumi on top and drizzle with dressing. Serve with bread and your favorite Rose!
Other Summer Dishes:
Peach, Green Chile and Sage Salsa Cheese Bites
Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp
Corn Bread Blueberry Bread Pudding with Peach Sauce
Perfect Peach Recipes from Whole Foods
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