Grilled Peach and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Salad is a fresh and colorful side dish that’s perfect to serve on warm summer days!
Peaches are starting to come into season. And, peaches grown right here in Colorado are the BEST – so juicy and flavorful. There’s a reason the Obama White House always ordered up peaches from High Country Orchards in Palisade, CO for special occasion dinners! I love peaches alone (simply peeled and sliced), or in desserts (like our Blueberry-Peach Custard Pie) or even in salads. In fact, my newest peach creation is this Grilled Peach and Fresh Mozzarella Salad.
This salad is super quick and easy to prepare, especially if you’re already firing up the grill to prepare some steaks or pork chops. Pitted peaches are brushed with oil, grilled on both sides, then seasoned with a cinnamon-sugar and lemon mixture. OMG, the peaches alone are mouth-watering deliciousness! I serve them atop baby arugula tossed with flavored olive oil and vinegar, with toasted almonds and creamy mozzarella cheese alongside. So pretty and colorful on the plate, so full of flavor!
One tip: it’s important to use freestone peaches – the ones that don’t cling to the pit.
Grilled Peach and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Grilled Peach and Fresh Mozzarella Salad is a fresh and colorful side dish that’s perfect to serve on warm summer days!
- Yield: 8 servings
- Category: Side salad, first course, gluten free, camping
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon mace
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
8 medium-sized, slightly under-ripe freestone yellow peaches
4 tablespoons lime-flavored olive oil, divided (see Note below)
2 tablespoons peach balsamic vinegar (see Note below)
5 ounces baby arugula
6 to 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that’s a ball, in water)
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, allspice and mace. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.
- In a small skillet (preferably nonstick), heat 2 teaspoons olive oil (not flavored!) over medium high heat. When hot, add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until browned. Set aside.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush both sides of each half with 2 tablespoons of the lime olive oil. Place on grill, cut sides down, and cook until marked with grill lines and beginning to soften, around 4 to 5 minutes. Turn peaches over and continue cooking for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a cookie sheet, cut side up, and brush with sugar-lemon mixture. Set aside to cool.
- Just before serving, in a large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of the lime olive oil and the peach balsamic vinegar. Add arugula and toss well (I like to use my hands).
- Spread arugula on a serving platter or 8 individual salad plates. Arrange the peaches (cut side up) over the top. Arrange slices of the mozzarella cheese and toasted almonds around the peaches. Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.
Note on olive oil and vinegar: If you can’t find lime olive oil, substitute lemon olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil and add a bit of lime zest. If you can’t find peach balsamic vinegar, substitute white balsamic vinegar.
Make ahead: Almonds can be toasted and peaches can be grilled and seasoned earlier in the day and kept at room temperature until serving.