Saturday, August 23, 2008

Grilled Peach Salad

At the beginning of the summer Matt liked a lot of impromptu "clean out the fridge" lunch salads I was making. So I wanted to make an intense dinner salad that had some warmth to it, but had no meat or seafood. Also, the recent addition of the grill pan to my arsenal meant that I was grilling whatever I could get my hands on. And so I created the Grilled Peach Salad And it is very simple.

First thing, is to take a couple small handfuls of pecans and toast them. While they toast, prep the peaches. They toast quickly though, so keep your nose alert so that they don't burn.

Take two to three large peaches that are ripe, but not too ripe (you want a little firmness still) and quarter them. When I first told Mom about this recipe she was surprised that I didn't peel the peaches. So was I, but since the peaches are not getting really cooked through, the skin doesn't get tough and it is an unnecessary step in this recipe.

Take the quartered peaches, toss in olive oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Place in a grill pan (or on an actual grill you lucky people out there with decks and yards) over medium heat and turn a couple times until all sides have a few grill marks. On my stove with my grill pan this usually means about 2-3 minutes to a side. Don't cook too long or over too high of a heat, or the peaches will get mushy and the skin will toughen. When peaches are done, remove to a cutting board and slice the quarters in half.

Meanwhile...make a vinaigrette of 1:3 balsamic vinegar to extra virgin olive oil. Toss mixed baby greens with a little salt, some black pepper and the vinaigrette. Chop the toasted pecans.

To plate: place mound of greens on plate, arrange peach slices, sprinkle on pecans, a couple spoonfuls of crumbled Gorgonzola, and one spoonful of dried cranberries.

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