This casual summertime supper salad features two delicious pairings. First, there’s the kicky flavor contrast of sweet summer peaches with brightly acidic vine-ripened tomatoes. Second, there’s the fun textural juxtaposition of juicy tomatoes and crunchy grilled bread. The tomato-bread mix is a twist on an Italian Panzanella salad, only here it is used a bit more like a garnish for an arugula, peach, and grilled onion salad. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar, lime, and maple syrup brings together all the flavor points in this colorful mix. If you’ve never grilled peaches before, no worries — it’s much easier than it sounds, and quite delicious. You can use nectarines if you like instead.
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad With Grilled Croutons [Vegan]
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Kosher salt
- 4 1-inch thick slices of ciabatta bread
- 1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (keep slices together)
- 2 ripe-but-firm peaches or nectarines, cut in half and pitted
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups halved Sun Gold tomatoes or other yellow or colorful cherry tomatoes
- 4-5 cups arugula
- 3-4 tablespoons vegan crème fraîche or vegan sour cream (optional)
- Preheat a gas grill to medium heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, and a big pinch of salt and set aside.
- Arrange the bread slices, onion slices, and the peach halves on a rimmed baking sheet for transporting them to the grill. Brush both sides of everything generously with olive oil and season with a little salt. (If you like, you can thread the onion rings on metal skewers or metal turkey lacers for easier cooking.)
- Arrange the bread and the onion slices on the grill. Cover and cook until the bread is golden and marked on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Use tongs to turn the bread over, and cook until the other side is golden and marked, about 2 minutes. Remove the bread from the grill. Check the onions to see whether they are beginning to soften up. Once they have grill marks, turn them over and continue cooking until the other side is marked, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the onions from the grill and wrap them in aluminum foil to help them finish cooking through.
- Arrange the peaches (cut-side down) on the grill and cook until grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Try not to move the fruit for the first 3 minutes. Rotate the peaches 90 degrees (to make cross-hatch grill marks) and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the peaches from the grill. They do not need to be grilled on the skin side; they will be soft and very warm already.
- Cut each slice of grilled bread into 8 to 12 pieces and put the pieces in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic mixture, and toss well.
- Arrange the arugula loosely on a large serving platter (or use four dinner plates). Arrange the peach halves over the arugula. Drop the tomato-bread mixture all around the peaches. Separate the grilled onion rings and arrange them over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with as much of the remaining balsamic mixture as you like.
- If using a platter, bring it to the table with serving spoons to portion out the salad, and with forks and knives for cutting up the peaches. When serving the salad onto plates, garnish each portion with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream (if desired), to be tossed in individually for a creamy finish.
From Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. www.roostbooks.com