My favorite summer sides continues…
Summertime=fruit, fruit and more fruit! Besides just enjoying a refreshing piece of fruit, I also love cooking with it when it’s in season. This summer salad is one of my favorites. I paired it with some grilled steak, but it would probably go great with anything or be just as good by itself :). I have enjoyed trying different types of grilled fruit and most are good, but I personally think that peaches are the best. This salad is absolutely delicious and the combination of the sweet peaches and balsamic is perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Serves about 4
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 firm-ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- 4 ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 1 ball buffalo mozzarella, cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the balsamic reduction: Combine the vinegar and thyme in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the balsamic reduces to a thick, syrupy liquid. It will reduce to about ¼ cup, 6 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the thyme sprigs, and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
For the peaches: Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill. If you do not have a grill you can also use a grill pan (my new favorite kitchen necessity!). I tried this for the first time and although a real grill is always better, the peaches came out great on the grill pan. They even had the fancy grill marks! Brush the peaches with 2 tsp of the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill cut side down until lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice each half into thirds.
Prepare the salad: In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the remaining 2 ½ tsp oil. Top with the buffalo mozzarella and peaches and drizzle with about 2 Tbs of the reduced balsamic, adding more to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.