Your Salad Needs Fruit—and Some Fire and Heat

Roasted or grilled stone fruits are the stars of this salad, adding a winey, syrupy sweetness that’s balanced by crunchy pistachios and peppery arugula.
Your Salad Needs Fruit—and Some Fire and Heat
No grill, no problem: You can broil the peaches in the oven for the same effect. (Lynda Balslev for Tastefood)

When stone fruit is in season, it’s time to indulge. There’s no denying the joy of slurpy bites of juicy fresh peaches, nectarines, and plums—but also consider applying fire and heat.

When stone fruits are roasted and grilled, their sugars caramelize, they soften, and their flavors are amplified, adding winey, syrupy sweetness and a hint of char to desserts, salsas, and salads.

Make this salad with grilled peaches or nectarines. Accompany them with ingredients that complement and contrast their tangy sweetness. In this salad, peppery arugula, an oozy, creamy burrata, and crunchy pistachios balance and enhance the fruit. If you eat meat, you can also add salty shards of oven-crisped prosciutto.

The dressing for this salad is a light vinaigrette, which is freshened with honey and lemon so as not to overpower the ingredients, but complement the fruit and greens.

Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
For the Salad
  • 3 to 4 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups arugula, about 3 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 (8-ounce) burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn in bite-size chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

If using a grill, lightly brush the cut sides of the peaches with olive oil to prevent sticking. Place face down on a griddle or on the grill grates over direct medium heat. Grill until marked and slightly softened, about 3 minutes. If using an oven, place cut sides up in a pan and broil until charred, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the peaches to a cutting board. Brush with some of the dressing, then cut in half to create 6 to 8 wedges.

Place the arugula in a wide serving bowl. Add the mint, chervil, and lemon zest. Lightly drizzle with some of the dressing and toss to coat (you will add more dressing before serving). Arrange the peaches and the burrata on the salad. Scatter the pistachios and additional mint and chervil over the salad. Drizzle with more dressing and add black pepper to your taste and serve.

Lynda Balslev is a cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her Danish husband, two children, a cat, and a dog. Balslev studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and worked as a personal chef, culinary instructor, and food writer in Switzerland and Denmark. Copyright 2021 Lynda Balslev. Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication.
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