Courtesy Brian Collins, owner/chef, Ember, Arroyo Grande, CA
The perfect pairing for grilled fare, this peach salad comes together quickly and highlights summer fruits and flavors.
- ½ tablespoon shallot, minced fine
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to season
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2–3 ripe yellow peaches
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 bunches baby arugula
- 4–6 sprigs of tarragon, picked
- 12 slices prosciutto
- ½ cup toasted almonds, coarse chopped
- 4 slices Spanish goat cheese (1-inch thick), preferably Caña de Cabra
In small jar, combine shallots, salt and vinegar. Allow shallots to macerate 15 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and mustard. Cover securely, and shake vigorously until oil and vinegar emulsify, approximately 10 seconds. Set aside.
Cut peaches in half, and remove pits. Brush cut sides lightly with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until golden brown grill marks have formed. Turn peaches over, and grill to achieve similar marks. Set aside until cool.
Heat small cast-iron skillet on grill.
As skillet warms, cut each peach half into 6–8 pieces, and place in mixing bowl. Add arugula, tarragon and vinaigrette to bowl. Toss gently, to coat. Gently mound onto serving platter. Lay prosciutto slices atop salad, and sprinkle with almonds.
When skillet is smoking hot, place small drop of oil on cheese slices. Carefully place cheese in pan. Sear, undisturbed, until golden brown, approximately 30 seconds. Gently flip cheese, and sear 30 seconds. Remove from skillet, and place atop salad. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this grilled peach salad, Collins picks a crisp white wine. “I love the Sauvignon Blanc being produced by Storm in Santa Barbara County,” he says. “I love the brightness and minerality that pairs beautifully with the fruity, acidic peaches and the grassy notes of the goat cheese.”