Peaches add sweetness and fresh green beans add snap to create a light, healthy salad that everyone is sure to love.
Who says a salad must have greens? Here, snappy green beans lap up the flavor of a thick peach dressing that would surely cause lettuce to go limp.
The warmth of the grilled peaches, combined with the tang of cheese and the crunch of nuts, create a quintessential summer experience.
We use freestone peaches like Canadian Harmony, Suncrest, or Veteran when they are available. They are easier to cut into uniform wedges that are easier to grill.
For a colorful presentation, take advantage of the many green bean varieties that the season has to offer.
|1 ½ lbs. fresh green beans, stems trimmed||¼ c. balsamic vinegar|
|Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper||½ c. extra-virgin olive oil|
|3 large ripe peaches, pitted and quartered||¼ c. toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped|
|1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard||2 oz. hard, aged goat cheese (such as crottin), coarsely grated|
1. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Cook the beans until just slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and plunge in the ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain, dry on paper towels, and set aside.
3. To make the peach vinaigrette, in a blender, liquify 4 peach quarters, the mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and slowly whisk in ? cup of the olive oil. Set aside.
4. Preheat an outdoor grill to high. Line up the remaining 8 peach quarters in 2 rows of 4.
5. Insert 2 skewers, side by side, through each row of 4 peaches (using 2 skewers prevents the wedges from spinning when turned over).
6. Brush the skewered fruit with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and grill on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
7. To assemble the salad, slide the peaches off the skewers into a large bowl. Combine with the green beans and gently toss with the vinaigrette.
8. Transfer to a large serving platter, sprinkle with hazelnuts and goat cheese, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6
When making vinaigrette, I whisk in the oil by hand because I find that the whirling, high-speed action of a blender alters the taste and makes the sauce bitter.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 460; Fat: 38g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 200mg; Total Carbohydrates: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 15g; Protein: 8g.
When Vitaly and Kimberly Paley first met, they worked as dinner cruise managers while Kimberly studied dance at the Martha Graham School and Russian-born Vitaly studied music at Juilliard.
Today they own Paley’s Place, in Portland, Oregon, which features local food, and coauthored The Paley's Place Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Pacific Northwest, from which this recipe is excerpted with permission.
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