I have been gorging on cherries quite a bit lately. Rather than just eating them straight from the bag I have been trying to use them in more imaginative ways. Grilled peaches are one of life’s greatest treats. So this Grilled Peach, Cherry and Goats’ Cheese Salad was born! It is utterly delicious, perfect while we wait patiently for the Summer to kick in.
I also added some cherries to the dressing. I was a little anxious that they might overpower the other flavours but it adds something special. Make up a big batch of it and it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks in an airtight jar. I didn’t add any extra sweetness to the dressing as the other elements are quite sweet. I also served this to a cherry sceptic without the fresh cherries but failed to tell him there were cherries in the dressing – he loved it! I’ll convert him yet.
On the grilled peaches: make a lot of these. And I mean a lot! You will want to add them to everything. Great with ice cream for dessert, with yogurt and granola for breakfast and on top of many salads. I slice them into wedges but if you just half them they will hold their shape better on the griddle. If you are having a barbecue, throw them on at the end when the heat is dying. I used Highbank Orchard Syrup* to coat the peaches. You can use maple syrup, honey or even a little butter and brown sugar.
I’ve used goats’ cheese but go with any you like. Feta would be great, peaches and mozzarella are a classic combination or a mild blue cheese would also work. I candied the walnuts and it really adds something special to the salad. I will do a post on this at some stage. You can just toast them in a dry pan as in this Pear Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad if you’re pushed for time.
I have kept this meat free but some parma ham or smoked prosciutto on top would be a tasty addition.
Enough babbling, on with the recipe
- 2 peaches
- 1 tbsp. of apple syrup
- 150g of cherries, stoned and halved
- 150-200g of soft goats cheese
- 30g of walnuts, halved
- Salad leaves
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp. of cherry juice, approx. 4 cherries pureed
- 3 tbsp. of good quality olive oil
- 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
- 1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- Salt & pepper
- Start by cooking the peaches as it will take the most time. I cook these on a griddle pan, as I said above a cooling barbecue would be ideal or you can cook them under a grill. Heat the griddle pan on a low-medium heat as you want these to cook slowly. Half the peaches, remove the stone and cut into wedges. Brush each side with a little of the syrup. Cook on the pan for a few minutes each side until they start to char slightly and are soft through. Remove and set aside.
- Next make the dressing. I got the cherry juice by stoning and blending the cherries and then passing them through a sieve. Put the juice into a jar, add the olive oil, vinegar, shallot and garlic. Give it a good shake to combine all of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Grab a handful of salad leaves per person. I use spinach and rocket but go with whatever you have. Toss the leaves in some of the dressing and plate them. Top with the warm grilled peaches, cherries, goats’ cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately with extra dressing on this side.
For another great Summer Salad recipe check out Alice’s Beetroot Carpaccio and Rainbow Root Salad.
*This is not a sponsored post. This is a product I really love so I bought it myself and use it all the time.