You know when you find a new combination of foods that just wows you? It becomes a sort of short-lived obsession -- you make it for dinner every night, you keep the ingredients in the house, and you don't shut up about it.
That's how I feel about this salad.
First, let's talk about the peaches. This time of year, it's pretty much impossible to not get excited about peaches. They're so ripe, you can smell them as you walk by, without even seeing them. Their flesh is tender--almost too tender, you can't pack them away- and their juice is sweeter than pie.
You add Piquillo peppers into the mix, which are also a little bit sweet but with a smokey, spicy edge. They match the brightness of peaches, with out overshadowing them.
The combination of peaches and sweet peppers is pretty much begging for a bed of arugula. Arugula is a tad bitter, which balances out the other sweet ingredients. It keeps this salad from getting too sweet and grounds it. It's delicate, and leafy, and is perfect skewered on a fork with a peach chunk and some dressing.
The final touch is optional, but if you can have dairy, I really suggest not skipping it. The goat cheese is a streak of richness in this salad that makes is oh so satisfying. It's soft enough that it just barely begins to melt away as you pour the dressing in, emulsifying and cream-ify-ing the entire thing. The addition of the cheese is what makes you scarf this salad down like no body's business. If you can't do cheese, I recommend toasting some pecan pieces and sprinkling them through out. Heck, you could go really crazy and add cheese and pecans. You won't regret it. Not for one moment.
Yields: 4 | Total Time:
- 1 pound arugula
- 2 peaches, ripe
- 1/2 cup piquillo peppers (from a jar)
- 1/4 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled For the dressing:
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: a drizzle of truffle oil
- Slice the peaches and the peppers. Toss sliced peaches and peppers with arugula. Top with cheese crumbles.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle over top of salad. Serve.