Summer is here which means so many things in my household. Getting the grill out for bbq’s, eating all the fun fresh summery foods, and trying to eat healthy to get in shape for a beach body (this is always a struggle!). Typically in the past, the hubby and I have done standard bbq’s – burgers, corn, potato salads, chips and dip, etc. etc. etc. This year, we have been inspired to grill almost everything we eat.
One of my husband’s favorites is Peaches. So I of course go out to Costco and buy a whole case (or 2) then realize, how are we going to eat so many?! Well, I promised him we would grill some since he fell in love with the idea of it last year. I also love avocado and have recently seen them grilled in my dishes in restaurants. Hey, why not add it in? If anything, it’s a good source of protein and adds a little meatiness to the plate.
Summer also means that I can harvest some of the vegetables, herbs and fruit in my garden. I am so excited about my garden that I literally watch it like a hawk every single day and get so happy over the tiniest fruit growing. Well, we have an abundance of arugula growing as well as Basil. Oh how I love the peppery smell and taste of both of these leaves! So delicious especially when they are fresh! I put Basil leaves in my salad? Yep. Don’t get ahead of yourself. I used the leaves but …. I made a basil vinaigrette to go on my salad.
When I told my husband about all the different components of this salad – he was a little skeptical. How can so many different flavors work together? Won’t I overshadow the grilled peaches for which this salad was created in the first place? I decided to find out. Am I so glad that I did! The sweetness of the peaches with the peppery arugula and basil was the most divine combination.
Quarter the peaches and avocados and brush with some EVOO.
Heat up the grill (or griddle) and place all the fruit down on one side. After a couple of minutes, flip to the other side. Oh I love those grill marks. And the peaches smell so delicious, I can’t wait to try them!
To assemble the salad, lay down the arugula first, then add some raw cashews. For the goat cheese, use a fork to crumble it into the salad and finally, add the grilled fruit. Then, a drizzle of the basil vinaigrette and you’re ready to enjoy a fun, healthy, summery salad!
For the Salad:
2 c fresh Arugula
1/3c raw cashews
2oz goat cheese
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and quartered
2 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
EVOO to brush on the fruit
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
3/4 c fresh basil
1/4c red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
Brush fruit with olive oil and set aside. Heat the grill on high heat. When it is heated through, place the fruit side down on one side and keep for 2 minutes. Flip to the other exposed side of the fruit and grill for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Assemble the salad with the arugula at the bottom, followed by the cashews, the fruit and the goat cheese crumbled in. Drizzle with Basil Vinaigrette.
In a blender, add all the ingredients for the Vinaigrette and blend to a smooth texture. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.