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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
To Roast the Fruit:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Slice peaches in half and remove pits. Place cut side up in a baking dish. Drizzle honey over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until fragrant and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.
To Make the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together basil oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Divide spinach between two plates. Arrange peach slices on top, dividing evenly between the plates.
- 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.
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.
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.
Whisk until combined.
Step 5 – Make Salad
Divide the spinach between two plates or bowls.
Arrange peach slices on top, evenly distributed between the two plates.
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.
For even more refreshing salads, here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Asparagus Broccoli Salad
- Grilled Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Asparagus and Snow Pea Salad Black-Eyed Peas
- Raw Zucchini and Feta Salad
- Fresh Peach Caprese
- Peach and Corn
- Arugula Dijon Salad with Figs and Pistachios
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: December 31, 2019 at 21:38 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.
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.