Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad
Summer peaches. Firm yet sweet and ripe. They are the quintessential nostalgia of summer days gone by when the weather turns cooler and we are faced with peaches that – let’s face it -are nowhere near as good. Not sun kissed. Not tender. They almost never seem to fully ripen. Am I right? So let’s get down to a summer salad that sings the praises of the perfect summer peach while we still can.
This salad is so simple and elegant and can be either an appetizer for four or a dinner for two. It’s easily adaptable so don’t be afraid to swap things out if you can’t find all the exact ingredients. For example, Burrata cheese. It’s basically cream infused fresh mozzarella and is so rich and decadent. I live in Northern Cali and it’s always in our grocery stores but if it’s not in yours don’t fret. Just use fresh mozzarella instead – the better the quality the better the salad since this is your other main ingredient.
Now let’s move on to the green for the base of the salad. I used watercress because I like the delicate leaves and flavor but arugula works great too and so does butter lettuce or mixed greens. Just remember the star of the dish is the peach so less greens and more peach please. A great salad is all about the ratios.
Then there’s the Marcona almonds and Fig Balsamic sauce. Okay I did just happen to have these in my pantry but for the nuts you could used slivered almonds or even pine nuts. For the balsamic a regular store bought balsamic glaze is great, too. Although if you can get it I do really like this Tangerine Fig Balsamic Finishing sauce by Earth & Vine. It’s sweet but not too sweet with a touch of fig and tangerine flavor.
The real key to this dish is the technique of grilling the peaches. The grill warms the peach and brings out the sweetness. That’s why it’s so important to start with peaches that are ripe but firm. Too ripe and they will just fall apart on you on the grill. Doesn’t matter how good a cook you are the peaches will turn to mush. But too firm or under ripe and you miss out on that sweetness. If you are unsure then ask your produce grocer to help you pick a couple. They are probably experts at feeling out the perfect peach that is ready to use that day.
As for the vinaigrette, I like to make it in advance so I’m not worrying about that step. It can hold up to a couple of days and then just shake or re-whisk right before serving. This is a really quick one with just a little shallot, honey, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Nothing fancy here. I did have some extra as I tend to go lightly on the dressings but I just saved it and used it for other salads throughout the week.
For the finishing touches I added basil and smoked Maldon sea salt. If you don’t have the smoked sea salt just regular sea salt is great, too. I like the flaky sea salt because it kind of melts into the food and brings out the natural flavors.
Enjoy this summer beauty!
Ingredients for Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad
Step by Step
Make the honey-shallot vinaigrette
Start with one shallot bulb.
Finely dice and place in a medium bowl.
Add the honey to the shallot *Tip: if you are measuring in a measuring cup you can spray it with cooking spray first and the honey will come out easier. I usually just squeeze straight from the bottle and estimate.
Juice your lemon. This recipe uses about 1/2 of a juicy lemon or all of a small one. If you have a large one I like to use the extra half as a garnish by slicing and serving on the platter. *I used Meyer lemons but regular lemon is just as good.
Measure out your olive oil.
Stream olive oil to the honey and shallots. Add salt and pepper.
Whisk to combine.
Set aside or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill those peaches!
Start by slicing the peaches in half and removing the pit. I cut away any of the darker flesh around the pit and any little brown pieces.
Then slice the peaches into thick wedges. Not too thin or they will fall apart on the grill. Brush both sides of the peaches with a little olive oil.
Sliced peaches brushed with oil
Fire up the grill on medium high and cook on both sides until grill marks appear and peaches are tender but not falling apart. Mine took about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second.
Remove to a plate and set aside until ready to assemble salad.
Assemble the salad
If using watercress cut the leaves away from the root and rinse the leaves and set aside. If using arugula or other green gently rinse and set aside. For watercress mine came in tiny bunches so it took two bunches for the entire salad but if using another green you just want enough to cover the bottom of the platter. It’s less about the greens than the peaches.
Cut or tear the burrata cheese or mozzarella cheese into large, bite-sized pieces to arrange on the platter. *Tip: If using Burrata the cream will come oozing out so do this on a cutting board and not directly on the plate.
Roughly chop the Marcona almonds.
Tear or chop fresh basil for the salad.
Assemble the salad by placing the watercress or arugula on the platter and drizzle with a little bit of the honey-lemon vinaigrette. Place the Burrata cheese and grilled peaches on top of the greens and then the chopped almonds and torn basil on top of that. Drizzle with a little more honey-shallot vinaigrette, flaky sea salt and a good drizzle of the fig balsamic glaze or regular balsamic vinegar.
- 2 medium peaches (firm but ripe)
- 4 oz. Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 small bunches watercress or 2 cups arugula
- 1 shallot bulb (approx 2 Tablespoons), diced
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice (approx half a lemon) *reserve other half for garnish
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus extra for brushing peaches
- 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped or torn
- 1/4 cup Marcona almonds
- Drizzle of Fig Balsamic or regular Balsamic vinegar
- Flaky Maldon sea salt (smoke if you have it)
- Start by making the vinaigrette. This will save covered and refrigerated for up to several days if planning ahead. Dice the the shallot and add to a medium bowl. Add honey and lemon juice and then stream in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit and any hard pieces close to the pit. Cut peaches in large segments and arrange on a platter. Fire up the grill or grill pan to medium high. Brush peaches with a little olive oil on both sides.
- Grill peaches until tender but not falling apart and grill marks are on both sides. Approximately 4-6 minutes total. Turn once. Remove from grill and set aside.
- Assemble salad by arranging washed greens on a platter. Drizzle with a small amount of the vinaigrette. Place the peaches and Burrata cheese on top of the greens and then sprinkle the chopped almonds and torn basil on top of that. Drizzle with more of the vinaigrette. Add a little smoked sea salt or regular sea salt and a drizzle of the fig balsamic or regular balsamic. Serve!