Grilled Peach Panzanella with Almond Essence Vinaigrette

The dressing for this classic bread salad gets a flavor boost from an unexpected ingredient.
Photo by Aaron Graubart / Styling by Roscoe Betsill

Courtesy Julia Sherman, Salad For President

Each entry in Julia Sherman’s Salad for President blog is a collaboration with an artist, musician or other creative person. Their dialogue becomes a springboard for recipes, events and installations. All this will be showcased in a cookbook scheduled for release in 2017. This recipe is a clever salad take on the classic dessert pairing of peach and almond.

“The flavor of peak-season peaches is amplified on the grill,” says Sherman. “Their sugars caramelize and their juices run to make a sweet and tangy marinade for crusty chunks of sourdough.”

Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 pound small ripe yellow peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 sandwich-sized slices crusty sourdough bread, 1-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons fresh roughly torn purple basil (can substitute green Genovese basil)
Directions

Whisk almond extract, vinegar and shallot in small bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, toss peaches with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle or brush oil on each side of bread slices. Season with salt and pepper.

On a hot-oiled grill*, arrange bread on outer edges. Place peaches cut-side-down in center. Set aside bowl, retaining liquid. Grill bread for 1 minute on each side, until lightly toasted. Grill peaches until bottoms are caramelized and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes. Cut toast into 1-inch cubes. Add to peach bowl, along with any crumbs. Slice peach halves into quarters. Add to peach bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to almond-vinegar-shallot mixture slowly, whisking to emulsify. Drizzle dressing over peaches and bread. Let marinate 5–10 minutes.

Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Toss lightly with basil, and serve. Serves 2.

*Bread and peaches can also be broiled in the oven or cooked in a grill pan.

Pair It

Mirabelle NV Brut Rosé (California); $28, 90 points. This salmon-colored bubbly from Schramsberg is as pretty as the salad, with aromas of peach, melon and ginger cookie. Hints of almond and subtle spices linger on the finish.

Published on July 5, 2016
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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