I have to thank Tastespotting for providing me with the inspiration for this salad. A few days ago I was scrolling through the recipes and pictures on Tastespotting and this recipe for Grilled Peach Panzanella Salad caught my eye. We had some nice fresh peaches from the farmers' market that I had no idea what to do with. Neither Alex nor I like peach cobbler so that would have been a waste. Nor do I typically like peaches enough to just eat one. And Alex dislikes anything peach-flavored (which means that he has never eaten a raw peach before), so I was justifiably nervous about what we made with the pretty peaches I picked up. This recipe seemed perfect because it showcased the peaches, but toned them down a little by combining them with ingredients like arugula, fresh mozzarella and great bread that we already know and love.
This salad really blew me away. When I tasted the dressing by itself I thought the balsamic was overpowering. And then I tossed it all together and it was marvelous and wonderfully balanced. It was delicious. It was so summery and fresh. After this I think I might be able to convince Alex to try more peach recipes. I might even get him to eat a peach by itself! That in and of itself would make the salad an unqualified success.
Recipe after the jump!
Grilled Peach Panzanella Salad
Adapted from Daily Waffle
2 peaches, halved and pitted
3 slices ciabatta
1/4 cup evoo, divided
2 tbsp shallot, minced, root end reserved
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 oz. arugula, rinsed and spun dry
6-8 ciliegine mozzarella, or 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 in. pieces
Drizzle peaches halves with 2 tbsp evoo, s&p. Grill the peaches over low-to-medium heat until softened and skins are easily removed. Finely dice 2 peach halves and the remaining 2 into 1/2-inch chunks or slices. Set aside. Grill the bread until lightly charred and rub with the shallot root end. Cut bread into 1-inch pieces.
In a small bowl, mix remaining evoo, balsamic vinegar, shallot and finely diced peaches. Salt & pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, mix together arugula and dressing. Top with remaining peach slices or chunks, toasted bread and mozzarella. Toss lightly to coat with dressing.