Freshen Up Your Lunch Game with this Honey-Glazed Peach Spinach Salad

Oh holy wow, my friends.

This salad is about to come in and totally change everything you’ve ever thought about peaches, and whether or not they belong in a salad.

Vertical oblique overhead closeup of a gray bowl of spinach salad with peaches, goat cheese, and walnuts, with another identical bowl in the background, on a gray surface topped with folded cloth napkins with a light and dark blue geometric pattern, printed with orange and white text at the midpoint and the bottom of the frame.

I don’t know how many people out there love peaches just as much as I do. But trust me, it’s going to be hard to keep up with this lady.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to spend a week up on the West Slope of Colorado where our famous stone fruit is grown and harvested.

These peaches are like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

They are beyond juicy. You take one bite and the juice comes dribbling down your chin, just like you remember from summer days as a child.

Eating one is almost like drinking a glass of fresh juice while you are eating a whole fruit at the same time, they are that juicy. The flavor and texture is simply unreal, and no other peaches can compare (at least none that I’ve tasted).

Overhead image of two gray bowls of spinach salad with peaches, cheese, and nuts, on two folded light and dark blue patterned cloth napkins on a gray slate surface, with a fork to the left and a glass jar of basil-flavored oil to the right.

We have local festivals to celebrate the fruit. There are thousands of products that come out of the West Slope region with peaches in them, from jams to juices, breads to pastries, and so much more.

As soon as I see the farmers markets pop up here in Denver, I am on the hunt for those Palisade peaches that are so coveted.

They simply scream summer to me, and putting them on a salad is one of my favorite ways to highlight their intense flavor in my cooking.

This honey-glazed peach spinach salad is by far my favorite salad to make during the warmer months.

Vertical oblique overhead image of two gray bowls of spinach salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and glazed peaches, with a fork, on a dark and light blue patterned folded cloth, on a gray surface, with a glass jar containing a green liquid at the top right of the frame.

You start by making a simple herb oil with basil and pure olive oil. The freshness of the herbs comes through in the oil when you mix it into the dressing for the salad, plus you end up with some extra to play with for other recipes (you’ll find more on that at the end of this article).

Then the fruit is drizzled with honey, and roasted in the oven to bring out its sweet and rich flavor even more.

The dressing is the final component to assemble, featuring the homemade basil oil along with white balsamic vinegar, and a simple addition of salt and pepper.

All of the components on their own are amazing, but when you combine them, it’s like fireworks in your mouth.

The hearty spinach along with roasted ripe stone fruit, goat cheese, walnuts, and basil oil dressing really makes for a flavorful treat that’s also healthy. You get a ton of different textures, and the recipe itself is really straightforward.

Vertical image of a forkful of peach and spinach salad being held up to the camera, with more in two gray bowls in the background, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth, with a jar of homemade basil-infused olive oil to the right.

Though the oil takes some time to put together, the steps are simple, and most of that time is spent waiting while it filters. There’s really no excuse not to make this recipe, especially when you know how elegant and flavorful it is. And if you’re looking for a shortcut, don’t hesitate to use a readymade infused oil that you found at the store!

You will feel like you are indulging with every bite, when really you are being oh-so-good to your body (not to mention, your food-loving soul). It’s ideal for busting out when you are hosting a lunch, or need a stellar first course to celebrate the summer season.

Print
Horizontal image of a charcoal gray bowl containing a combination of baby spinach, honey-glazed peaches, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped walnuts, with more walnut bits scattered around the bowl on a gray surface, with a folded dark and light blue patterned cloth napkin, and a fork to the left of the frame.

Honey-Glazed Peach Spinach Salad


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

You may never be able to go back to your boring, bland lunch after you try this honey-glazed peach spinach salad with basil oil dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp Basil-flavored olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To Roast the Fruit:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Slice peaches in half and remove pits. Place cut side up in a baking dish. Drizzle honey over the top.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until fragrant and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.

To Make the Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together basil oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper until combined.

To Assemble:

  1. Divide spinach between two plates. Arrange peach slices on top, dividing evenly between the plates.
  2. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and chopped walnuts. Drizzle evenly with the dressing and serve.

  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Keywords: grilled peaches, grilled salad, summer salad, peach

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Make Basil Oil

If you haven’t already, make the basil oil according to the directions in our article on making DIY infused oils for cooking and gifting.

This involves simmering fresh soft or woody herbs in oil, straining and filtering the mixture, and bottling it up for storage.

Step 2 – Chop Walnuts, Prepare Cheese, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Chop enough walnuts until you have 2 tablespoons total.

Crumble 2 ounces of soft goat cheese.

Overhead view of a light blue glass bowl of baby spinach with smaller glass bowls of honey, oil, and crumbled goat cheese to the left, a pile of chopped walnuts, and three fresh peaches, on a gray stone surface.

You can buy it already crumbled, but I prefer to choose a high-quality log of soft goat cheese and crumble it myself. Just make sure to chill the cheese before you crumble it, so it doesn’t get too soft in your hands.

Measure all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 3 – Roast Stone Fruit

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Slice peaches in half and remove the pits.

Place cut side up in a baking dish and drizzle the honey evenly on top.

Overhead horizontal image of a metal baking pan containing six peach halves arranged cut side up, with honey in the wells and dripping onto the pan in places, on a gray background.

Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Transfer roasted fruit to a cutting board and slice.

Step 4 – Make Dressing

Add basil oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl.

Horizontal overhead image of a small stainless steel bowl with an oil and vinegar salad dressing in the bottom, being stirred with a wire whisk with a light blue handle, on a gray stone surface.

Whisk until combined.

Step 5 – Make Salad

Divide the spinach between two plates or bowls.

Overhead horizontal image of two gray bowls filled with raw baby spinach, on a gray surface with white scratches and streaks.

Arrange peach slices on top, evenly distributed between the two plates.

Overhead horizontal image of two gray bowls filled with raw baby spinach, with honey-glazed roasted peach slices with the skin on arranged on top, on a gray background.

Sprinkle evenly with goat cheese and walnuts.

Drizzle evenly with dressing. Serve.

What If My Stone Fruit Isn’t Ripe Enough?

To quickly ripen your peaches, the easiest way is to simply leave them on the counter. Make sure that they are standing on their tops, not their bottoms, and that they aren’t touching each other.

To speed this up, you can also place them in direct sunlight, making sure they don’t get too hot and start to bake.

Another way to quickly ripen this type of fruit is to put it in a paper bag. This will speed up the process because the ethylene gas the peaches give off becomes trapped in the bag.

Ever thought about growing your own? Check out this guide to growing stone fruit trees in your backyard on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.

Horizontal image of a charcoal gray bowl containing a combination of baby spinach, honey-glazed peaches, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped walnuts, with more walnut bits scattered around the bowl on a gray surface, with a folded dark and light blue patterned cloth napkin, and a fork to the left of the frame.

For even more refreshing salads, here are some of our favorite recipes:

What’s your favorite way to combine fresh seasonal fruit and greens? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you try it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 17, 2012. Last updated: August 13, 2019 at 14:36 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

18 thoughts on “Freshen Up Your Lunch Game with this Honey-Glazed Peach Spinach Salad”

  1. I would love to sit down to this lovely salad with you fine folk on a summer’s eve. This is the kind of thing I’ve been eating constantly the past couple of weeks. Just perfect.

    • Oh, Laura, we’d love to have you! (Only, please, like I emailed you, let’s make the meal your summer panzanella… I’ve been dreaming about it ever since I saw the video.)

  2. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods I’m going to invite myself over to eat with you both 🙂 That salad looks delicious!

  3. hey thr! I love your blog and yes the salad looks amazing..! I must say you are lucky that your husband enjoys fruits and salads cause mine doesn’t sulk sulk lol. But yes I am going to try it, may be just by myself.. 🙂

    • Ami, The truth is, Tim was loving fruits and salads long before I was. He pretty much showed me the light, ha! : ) That said, good food is something to be enjoyed, whether with many, with one or on your own. Hope you find time for it soon!

  4. Lovely writing and photography, as always. This salad looks divine. And I love that you had a list of things you were hoping for in this house, and a list of things to have someday. Each time I move I seem to get one or two more things checked off the list: an older house, beautiful floors, a dishwasher. Next on the list is space for a garden. I’m making do with containers, but oh, for a stretch of land to plant corn!

  5. Beautiful photos and the salad looks absolutely delicious! So simple yet elegant! I don’t know about you, but I “eat with my eyes first” so I am definitely trying this one- thank you for sharing!

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